The Orthodox Essence-Energies Distinction


Can somebody better explain the Eastern view of the essence-energies distinction?


From what I remember the distinction is between God’s essence or substance which is unknowable by any other than God Himself, and his energies or actions or graces which are still part of God and are observable to creation, but do not make up his essence. The RCC believe that God’s graces and actions are created while the Orthodox view them as still part of God and uncreated. The light that Christ showed to the 3 Apostles on the mount at His transfiguration is an example of where the Orthodox state that this light is uncreated and therefore God, but only His energies, not His essence, while I think the RC church would say that He created light to make a point, not that the light was actually God.


I think I almost understand. Thank you for answering!


I’ve found this old post to be helpful concerning the East West differences (or lack thereof):


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