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see Dionysius the Areopagite, SaintDionysius the Areopagite, Saint
, fl. 1st cent. A.D., Athenian Christian, converted by St. Paul. Acts 17.34. Tradition has made him a martyr and the first bishop of Athens. He has been confused with St. Denis.
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Admittedly, sometime in the period of Antigonus' suzerainty (306-301 BC) Cleanthes went to Athens and was at some point brought before the court of the Areopagites. Much later he took over from Zeno as head of the school of Stoics after Zeno died in 263, but the hearing before the Areopagites had nothing to do with anything as serious as his Stoic beliefs, but more to do with his status and employment.
(8) Dionysios the Areopagite, On the Divine Names, PG 3, 872 A.
One deemed to be Dionysius the Areopagite was, I believe, the first to order the eternal night of the universe with angels.
Denys the Areopagite said that God is beyond human understanding: "Nothing can be said of him; he cannot be named."
Feisal Mohamed's monograph charts their influence from the Henrician era through the end of the Interregnum by tracing the changing impact of the works of the first-century Platonist, Dionysius the Areopagite. His Celestial Hierarchy, Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, Divine Names, and Mystical Theology shaped the understanding of angels and the spiritual hierarchy of heaven for medieval scholastics.
Under the influence of Dionysius the Areopagite, Thomas Aquinas assumes what can be called the law of mediation: By the will of God, the divine good is conveyed to inferior beings by superior ones, and inferior beings are redirected to their beginning by superior ones.
Re-Thinking Dionysius the Areopagite. Edited by Sarah Coakley and Charles M.
Mystical Theology by Dionysius (or Pseudo-Dionysius) the Areopagite, the most influential negative theologian of the early Christian church.
This chapter ends with a review of texts by the Fathers of the Church Justinian, Origen, and Augustine, as well as treatises by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite; Isidore of Seville; and the enigmatic works by Hermas, one of the Essenes.
To extend the definition beyond where a small dictionary takes it, we can add that apophasis can also be a negation used to formulate what cannot be stated in any positive terms--especially Christian theological utterances such as that of Dionysius the Areopagite that God "has no body nor form nor image nor quality nor quantity nor mass." Dionysius' statement means that such words as "body," etc., have no application to God.