Impassibility is the divine property of being incapable of being externally acted upon and, thus, of being immune from suffering. Of all the properties of God in classical theism, impassibility is probably the most controversial and widely repudiated today. Theologians widely reject the attribute as irreconcilable with the biblical portrait of God as a being that suffers, paradigmatically in the person of Jesus Christ. One strong argument against impassibility is drawn from the incarnation: if Christ suffers and Christ is God, then God suffers. Moreover, the impassibilist's response that predicates impassibility of Christ's divine nature and passibility of the human nature, appears to many to be Nestorian. Another argument is based on the assumption that impassibility entails an absence of love, but that is to misunderstand the attribute in classical theism. Though derived from the Aristotelian concept of Pure Act, the Christian understands impassibility not to mean that God is aloof and uncaring, but rather that he is more loving because he does not suffer. In short, impassibilists reason that those that suffer will necessarily have some concern for their own suffering and so cannot be fully available in love for another. Since God is fully available in love for another, it follows, by this argument, that he does not suffer.
   Further reading: Creel 1985; Moltmann 1974; Weinandy 2000

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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  • Impassibility — (from Latin in , not , passibilis , able to suffer, experience emotion ) describes the theological doctrine that God does not experience pain or pleasure from the actions of another being. Some theological systems portray God as a being subject… …   Wikipedia

  • Impassibility — Im*pas si*bil i*ty, a. [L. impassibilitas: cf. F. impassibilit[ e].] The quality or condition of being impassible; insusceptibility of injury from external things. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • impassibility — (|)im, əm+ noun ( es) Etymology: Middle English impassibilite, from Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French impassibilité, from Late Latin impassibilitat , impassibilitas, from impassibilis + itat , itas ity : the quality or state of being… …   Useful english dictionary

  • impassibility — noun see impassible I …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • impassibility — See impassible. * * * …   Universalium

  • impassibility — noun The state or condition of being impassible …   Wiktionary

  • impassibility — n. lack of susceptibility to pain or suffering; lack of susceptibility to injury or harm; insensitivity, lack of emotion …   English contemporary dictionary

  • impassibility — n. 1. Impassiveness, insensibility, impassivity, lack of feeling, indifference. 2. Incapability of suffering, insusceptibility to pain or grief, impassivity, impassiveness, sovereign omnipotence, unconditioned existence, self activity …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • impassibility — im·passibility …   English syllables

  • impassibility, divine —  Бесстрастность божественная …   Вестминстерский словарь теологических терминов

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