"Dunamis" or "dynamis" (Greek δυναμις) is an Ancient Greek word meaning "power" or "force". It is the root of the English words "dynamic", "dynamite", and "dynamo". The word "dunamis" is sometimes seen in English texts because of its importance in philosophy.

Oracle of Dunamis

In Greek mythology, the Oracle of Dunamis (ca. 1400 BCE), believed to have been situated south of the island of Rhodes, contained a statue of a man who was to lead humanity into a time of spiritual prosperity. Christians assigned this to Jesus in support of Biblical prophecies.


The word "dunamis" appears in Aristotle's works as a term for what is or has a certain potency. The word can be translated by such terms as power, capacity, potential, potency, capability and faculty (ability, skill, or power). The term relates to Michel Foucault's pouvoir in French: the able-to-do. Aristotle contrasted dunamis with energeia or entelecheia. Jacques Derrida uses the term in "The Strange Institution Called Literature," where Derrida writes, "...poetry and literature have as a common feature that they suspend the 'thetic' naivety of the transcendent reading. This also accounts for the philosophical force of these experiences, a force of provocation to think phenomenality, meaning, object, even being as such, a force which is at least potential, a philosophical dunamis--which can, however, be developed only in the text like a substance" (Derrida 46).


In Christian theology "Dunamis" is sometimes used in conjunction with the Holy Spirit. [http://www.studylight.org/lex/grk/view.cgi?number=1411] It describes the activities of the Holy Spirit as believers receive Him (Acts 1:8, 10:38).

ee also



*Energeia And Entelecheia: "Act" in Aristotle by George Alfred Blair University of Ottawa Press ISBN-13: 978-0776603643
*Greek Philosophical Terms: A Historical Lexicon by Francis Peters NYU Press ISBN-13: 978-0814765524

External links

* [http://www.philosophypages.com/dy/d9.htm#dyna Philosophy Dictionary online]

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