Definition of cataphatic in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌkatəˈfatɪk/


(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'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cata|phati¦c

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