Dionysius the Areopagite, Saint

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Dionysius the Areopagite, Saint

Dionysius the Areopagite, Saint (dīənĭshˈēəs,) (ârēŏpˈəjīt), 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. During the Middle Ages he was revered as the author of certain philosophical writings erroneously attributed to him since the 6th cent. These are ten letters and four treatises (The Celestial Hierarchy, The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, The Divine Names, Mystical Theology) written in Greek, possibly in Palestine, in the late 5th or early 6th cent. It is now customary to refer to their author as Pseudo-Dionysius. Their obscure style was no barrier to their study and repeated translation into Latin, notably by Eriugena and Robert Grosseteste. They exerted a lasting influence on the development of scholasticism, particularly through St. Thomas Aquinas. The treatises provided a medium for transmission to Western culture of the concepts of Neoplatonism and of the theology of angels. Feast: Oct. 9.


See studies by D. Rutledge (1965) and R. F. Hathaway (1970).

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Dionysius the Areopagite. Because of his quasi-apostolic authority Dionysius's influence was unparalleled.
Dionysius the Areopagite referred to the divine energies as processions, principles, determinations, and divine volitions, (37) while John of Damascus wrote in this regard of the divine radiance and activity.
See the analysis of this problem in Heirmonk Alexander Golitzin, Et Introibo ad Altare Dei: On the Mystagogy of Dionysius the Areopagite and His Predecessors in the Eastern Christian Tradition (Thessalonika: Patriarchikon Idryma Paterikon Meleton, 1994), 21-41, 415-21.
Four of the papers are on Gregory of Nyssa, others engage with Dionysius the Areopagite, Origen, and Augustine.
The Anonymous Naming of Names: Pseudonymity and Philosophical Program in Dionysius the Areopagite, CHRISTIAN SCHAFER
How angels, which have strong connotations of pagan idolatry, came to be represented at all in Christian imagery Peers investigates in his inquiry into the theology of Pseudo Dionysius the Areopagite (among others), who sees them as a means to spiritual engagement with the divine.
There are two pieces on Dionysius the Areopagite, both given at a Master-theme at the Eleventh Patristics Conference in Oxford in 1991.
Symbol & icon; Dionysius the Areopagite and the iconoclastic crisis.
Without any depiction of the fall of Adam or of the felix culpa of Pauline theology, the pages of Dionysius the Areopagite do not seem to offer much by way of explaining evil.
The apophatic motifs in question tend to cluster around the notions of hiddenness and incomprehensibility, while the negative theology in question is that found in such thinkers as Clement of Alexandria, Dionysius the Areopagite, Meister Eckhart, and Nicholas of Cusa.
Cloth, $75.00--In the earlier part of the sixth century, John of Scythopolis collected and edited the writings of Dionysius the Areopagite. Elevated to the episcopacy of the important see of Palestina Secunda, sometime between 538 and 544, John not only gathered these texts of Dionysius, he also lent his own Neochalcedonian Christology to them in order to have one more apostolic authority from which to quote against the Monophysites of his day.
John is perhaps better known as the earliest defender of the writings of Dionysius the Areopagite, which had only recently appeared.