Definition of kenosis in English:



mass noun
  • (in Christian theology) the renunciation of the divine nature, at least in part, by Christ in the Incarnation.

    • ‘The question is whether those of us who are concerned about tradition and innovation in Anglicanism are ready for the needed metanoia and kenosis and thus to be vulnerable in the process.’
    • ‘A Buddhist and a Christian think more penetratingly about emptiness and kenosis as a result of their encounter.’
    • ‘Living the mystery of kenosis is living for eternal life - a life we cannot fully imagine, the life that God alone gives through the kenosis of Christ and of the Church.’
    • ‘Following the principle that what was not assumed cannot be redeemed, Lewis insists that God himself was involved in the kenosis, including the death and burial of Jesus.’
    • ‘It's one thing to identify God as a powerful liberator, another to point to that ‘power’ being in the kenosis / solidarity of Jesus, emptying himself out and taking the form of a slave.’
    • ‘God's kenosis is still the centre of our attention.’
    • ‘At the end of one cycle of time, they say, we experience kenosis, an emptying.’
    • ‘Theology has typically confined the concept of kenosis to the incarnation of the Son.’
    • ‘The pattern of kenosis applies, not just to the life and death of the Christ, but also to his performance of the divine role of judgment.’
    • ‘It is this understanding of kenosis we shall now seek to apply to God in creation.’
    • ‘The kenosis, therefore, is Christ taking on a human nature with all of its limitations, except with no sin.’
    • ‘Herbert appeals to the imagery of divine kenosis.’
    • ‘In Buddhism, the term sunyata is used for Emptiness - and in Christianity the word kenosis is sometimes used.’
    • ‘For Bulgakov, kenosis, the divine self-diminution, is the core revelation of who God is.’
    • ‘For those of us who fulfill our baptismal call to follow Jesus in and through the sacrament of matrimony, kenosis is the call to a self-emptying or dying to our needs, hopes, and expectations.’
    • ‘Combining this with a belief in inspiration, they recognize that there is a kenosis involved in God's committing His message to human words.’
    • ‘Without this, the kenosis of the Son and the kenosis of conversion to faith in the Son as the revelation of the Father are reduced to groundless, accidental occurrences.’
    • ‘Haught directly confronts original sin, the presence of evil and suffering in the universe, the kenosis of God, and the difficulty of reconciling the concept of the soul with the findings of genetic science.’
    • ‘Perhaps what we need most to find true community is a kenosis, a self-emptying not from equality with God, but from our class posturing, from the subtleties of a politics of distinction, and from participation in the rituals of inequality.’


Late 19th century: from Greek kenōsis ‘an emptying’, from kenoein ‘to empty’, from kenos ‘empty’, with biblical allusion (Phil. 2:7) to Greek heauton ekenōse, literally ‘emptied himself’.