Share this entry
cataphatic Line breaks: cata|phati¦c
Pronunciation: /ˌkatəˈfatɪk/

Definition of cataphatic in English:


(Of knowledge of God) obtained through defining God with positive statements. The opposite of apophatic.
Example sentences
  • That, I think, is the point of those who hold that apophatic theology (negative theology) and cataphatic theology (positive theology) are really two sides of a single coin.
  • Anselm's theology is excessively cataphatic (affirmative or positive) and rationalist.
  • It is from within this christological context that Maximus's understanding of the relationship between apophatic and cataphatic theology is most profitably interpreted.


Mid 19th century: from Greek kataphatikos 'affirmative', from kataphasis 'affirmation', from kata- (as an intensifier) + phanai 'speak'.

Definition of cataphatic in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources