By Charles M. Stang
This e-book 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 legendary for articulating a magical theology in elements: a sacramental and liturgical mysticism embedded within the context of celestial and ecclesiastical hierarchies, and an austere, contemplative routine within which one steadily 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 impression of Paul jointly represent the easiest interpretive lens for figuring out the Corpus Dionysiacum [CD]. Stang demonstrates how Paul animates the whole corpus, and indicates that the impression of Paul illuminates such principal issues of the CD as hierarchy, theurgy, deification, Christology, confirmation (kataphasis) and negation (apophasis), varied 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 most effective 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 is not any longer I who dwell, yet Christ who lives in me.'
Building in this inspiration of apophatic anthropology, the ebook forwards an evidence for why this sixth-century writer selected to put in writing lower than an apostolic pseudonym. Stang argues that the very perform of pseudonymous writing itself serves as an ecstatic devotional workout wherein the author turns into cut up in and thereby open to the indwelling of the divine. Pseudonymity is in this interpretation quintessential and inner to the goals of the broader mystical company. therefore this publication goals to query the excellence among 'theory' and 'practice' via demonstrating that adverse theology-often figured as a speculative and rarefied conception concerning the transcendence of God-is actually top understood as a type of asceticism, a devotional perform aiming for the full transformation of the Christian topic.
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Extra resources for Apophasis and Pseudonymity in Dionysius the Areopagite: "No Longer I"
60 Sergius, Introduction, Ch. CXVI–CXVII, Sherwood (1961), 148–9; BN Syr. 384, f. ” 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.
Pseudonymity and Paul 21 To modern readers, the most conspicuous chronological discrepancy is the philosophical terminology of the CD. How could ancient readers such as John have accepted the CD as an authentically subapostolic ﬁrst-century document when it seems so obviously infused with the language of late Neoplatonism? 17–33 are in fact an extended dialogue with Plotinus—why not? 49 In general, therefore, John handles the challenge of the philosophical idiom of the CD (and, by consequence, 44 Rorem and Lamoreaux, John of Scythopolis and the Dionysian Corpus, 109, 113.
As wicked as he was wise, he changed the passages in the divine books to his own proﬁt. 54 Moreover, Hazzaya cannot help but notice the elevated, densely philosophical style of the CD. Like Philoponus, then, he recognizes that the style ﬁts ill with the prevailing expectations regarding early Christian literature. While Philoponus offers a revised chronology such that Dionysius becomes the source rather than the derivative of such style, Hazzaya again attributes the elevated style to the presumptuous translator.
Apophasis and Pseudonymity in Dionysius the Areopagite: "No Longer I" by Charles M. Stang