The Philosophical Theology of St Cyril’s 'Against Julian'

David Bradshaw
Professor, University of Kentucky
Department of Philosophy

Abstract: Although it is primarily a work of apologetics, Cyril’s Against Julian includes a great deal of philosophical interest. This includes discussion of questions such as: Can God deliberate, given that He is unchanging and has perfect foreknowledge? Can He change His mind? Why does He act in ways that He knows will permit creatures to do evil? Does He experience emotions such as anger and jealousy, and, if so, how is His doing so compatible with divine goodness?  This paper examines Cyril’s answers to such questions. Drawing on the work of Fr. John McGuckin, it argues that his answers implicitly lead to a parallel between the divine economy displayed in the Incarnation and that displayed in divine acts within time and history.