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A Commentary on the Texts and an Introduction to Their Influence

Pseudo-Dionysius by Paul Rorem
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"Dionysius the Areopagite" is the biblical name chosen by the pseudonymous author of an influential body of Christian theological texts, dating from around 500 C.E. The Celestial Hierarchy, The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, The Divine Names, and The Mystical Theology offer a synthesis of biblical interpretation, liturgical spirituality, and Neoplatonic philosophy. Their central motif, which has made them the charter of Christian mysticism, is the upward progress of the soul toward God through the spiritual interpretation of the Bible and the liturgy. Dionysius continually reminds his readers, however, that all human concepts fall short of the transcendence of God and must therefore be abandoned in negotiations and silence. In this book, Rorem provides a commentary on all of the Dionysian writings, chapter by chapter, and examines especially their complex inner coherence. The Dionysian influence on medieval theology is introduced in essays on specific topics: hierarchy, biblical symbolism, angels, Gothic architecture, liturgical allegory, the scholastic doctrine of God, and the mystical theology of the western Middle Ages. Rorem's book makes these texts more accessible to both scholars and students and includes a comprehensive bibliography of secondary sources.
Oxford University Press; February 1993
282 pages; ISBN 9780195360363
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Title: Pseudo-Dionysius
Author: Paul Rorem