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: Can humans know God? Can created beings approach the Uncreated? The concept of God and questions about our ability to know him are central to this book. Eastern Orthodox theology distinguishes between knowing God as he is (his divine essence) and as he presents himself (through his energies), and thus it both negates and affirms the basic question: man cannot know God in his essence, but may know him through his energies. Henny Fiska Hagg investigates this earliest stage of Christian negative (apophatic) theology, as well as the beginnings of the distinction between essence and energies, focusing on Clement of Alexandria in the late second century. Clement's theological, social, religious, and philosophical milieu is also considered, as is his indebtedness to Middle Platonism and its concept of God.