I think the Western Christians really do have the essence-energies distinction, as the Eastern Christians do. They just don't use the same terms or have the same emphasis. Similar to what was said at Council of Basil-Ferrara-Florence "Texts were produced from divine scriptures and many authorities of eastern and western holy doctors, some saying the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, others saying the procession is from the Father through the Son. All were aiming at the same meaning in different words." In one of Faustina Kowolski's writings, she wrote that Jesus told her that none can comprehend the Essence of God. To know God, one should meditate on His attributes. Eastern theology says the same thing, just swapping the word attributes for energies. The idea seams to be possible in Thomas Aquinas's Summa Thealogia. After earlierly declaring that God's knowledge, existence, power, action, essence, attributes, etc were all one, later when writing on the Omnipresence of God, he keeps speaking of God being in a place in both essence and power, apparently holding a distinction. Of course Western Europe originally had more polytheism than the East. In the East, we had the monotheist Jews and the Greek philosophies which were so often contrary to polytheism. (Remember how Socrates died for offending the gods). Hence we didn't really need to defend monotheism as the West had to. I think that it the reason the West put far more emphasis on the Unity of God than the distinction, and then in the same way as the filoque clause was misinterpreted as being contradictory, the same happened with the essence-energies distinction. But this is just my opinion on it. I am not learned in any of this. I simply read their writings often online and try to learn more about Christian theology that way. I personally don't see any contradiction between Western emphasis on the Unity of God and Eastern emphasis on Essence-Energies distinction and the Trinity. Comment your opinion below if you have any thoughts on it. (Note. The term "energies" comes directly from the Greek New Testament, especially Colossians. It is sometimes translated in English as "power" or "powerful", but the Greek word is "energēs".)
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