Apophasis and Pseudonymity in Dionysius the Areopagite: "No by Charles M. Stang

By Charles M. Stang

This ebook examines the writings of an early sixth-century Christian mystical theologian who wrote lower than the identify of a convert of the apostle Paul, Dionysius the Areopagite. This 'Pseudo'-Dionysius is known for articulating a paranormal theology in elements: a sacramental and liturgical mysticism embedded within the context of celestial and ecclesiastical hierarchies, and an austere, contemplative routine during which one gradually negates the divine names in hopes of soliciting union with the 'unknown God' or 'God past being.'

Charles M. Stang argues that the pseudonym and the impact of Paul jointly represent the easiest interpretive lens for figuring out the Corpus Dionysiacum [CD]. Stang demonstrates how Paul animates the total corpus, and exhibits that the impression of Paul illuminates such vital topics of the CD as hierarchy, theurgy, deification, Christology, confirmation (kataphasis) and negation (apophasis), multiple similarities, and unknowing. most significantly, Paul serves as a fulcrum for the expression of a brand new theological anthropology, an 'apophatic anthropology.' Dionysius figures Paul because the ultimate apostolic witness to this apophatic anthropology, because the ecstatic lover of the divine who confesses to the rupture of his self and the indwelling of the divine in Gal 2:20: 'it isn't any longer I who stay, yet Christ who lives in me.'

Building in this suggestion of apophatic anthropology, the publication forwards an evidence for why this sixth-century writer selected to put in writing below an apostolic pseudonym. Stang argues that the very perform of pseudonymous writing itself serves as an ecstatic devotional workout wherein the author turns into break up in and thereby open to the indwelling of the divine. Pseudonymity is in this interpretation indispensable and inner to the goals of the broader mystical firm. therefore this e-book goals to query the excellence among 'theory' and 'practice' by way of demonstrating that adverse theology-often figured as a speculative and rarefied idea concerning the transcendence of God-is actually top understood as one of those asceticism, a devotional perform aiming for the entire transformation of the Christian topic.

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61 The “lost” works include: The Theological Outlines [or: Representations], On the Properties and Ranks of the Angels, On the Soul, On Righteous and Divine Judgment, The Symbolic Theology, On the Divine Hymns, The Intelligible and the Sensible. 62 See Louth, Denys the Areopagite, 120. 63 Von Balthasar, “Denys,” 154. C below. 0/), which permits non-commercial reproduction and distribution of the work, in any medium, provided the original work is not altered or transformed in any way, and that the work is properly cited.

Rather than attempt to distinguish sharply between Iamblichean (pagan) and Dionysian (Christian) theurgy, I will instead focus on the fact that for both Iamblichus and Dionysius, deification consists in our consenting to have the “work of God” (Kæªeí ŁåïF)—or “theurgy” (ŁåïıæªßÆ)—displace us, so that we become ciphers or conduits of divine activity. ” In Chapter Four, I will argue that Dionysius looks to Paul as the premier mystical theologian and witness to mystical union, and that Dionysius’ understanding of “unknowing” (IªíøóßÆ) derives from Paul’s speech to the Areopagus.

11. 0/), which permits non-commercial reproduction and distribution of the work, in any medium, provided the original work is not altered or transformed in any way, and that the work is properly cited. com Pseudonymity and Paul 35 Neoplatonism does not in any way obviate his faith in Christ. To the contrary, the choice to write under this pseudonym signals that, just as the learned pagan Dionysius the Areopagite was converted to faith in Christ by Paul’s speech to the Areopagus, so ancient, pagan wisdom can also be baptized into a new life by the revelation in Christ.

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