This is an appreciative analysis of the works of Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite and the influence he has had on the philosophical, theological, and mystical thought of Europe for fifteen hundred years. The author is also interested in demonstrating Dionysius' influence on a wide range of twentieth-century thinkers. Those who are already familiar with the research on and actual writings of Pseudo-Dionysius will find new insights into the ordering and emphases of the mystic's works. Those who will encounter the thoughts of this influential and unknown individual for the first time will discover, it is hoped, one reason why the philosophical and theological and mystical thought of Europe took the shape it did during and after the Middle Ages. In modern times, the influence of this unknown mystical theologian has not ceased.
The late John Dixon Copp was a Professor at Boston University and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Publisher's Foreword; Editor's Preface; Author's Preface; Introduction; Chapter I: The Legend; Chapter II: Context; Dionysian Writings; Dionysius in the East; Dionysius in the West; Chapter III: Authority and Authority Questioned; The Abbey of St. Denis; The Abelard Incident; The Story of Abelard's Adversities; Lorenzo Valla (1405-1457); Chapter IV: The Line of Thought; Mystery Religions; Philo Judaeus; Dionysius' Authorities; Metaphysical Grounding; Chapter V: The Divine Names; Chapter One of the Treatise; Chapter Two of the Treatise; Chapter Three of the Treatise; The Three Motions of Contemplation; Chapter Four of the Treatise; Chapter VI: Names of God; Light (Phaos); Beauty (Kalos); Love (Eros); Ecstasy (Ekstatis) Evil (Kakos); Being (Ontos); Paradigms (Paradeigmata); Life (Zoe); Wisdom (Sophia); Intellect or Mind (Nous); Chapter VII: Treatises Continued; Reason (Logos); Truth (Alethia); Faith (Pistis); Power (Dynamis); Justice (Dikaisune); Preservation (Soteria); Chapter VIII: Names for God; Great (Megas); Small (Micros); Same (Tautos); Different (Heteros); Same (Tautos); Different (Heteros); Similar (Homodios); Dissimilar (Anomios); Rest/Standing (Stasis); Motion/Movement (Kinesis); Equality (Isotes); Omnipotent (Pantokrator); Ancient of Days (Peri Palaiou Hemeron); Eternity (Ainos); Time (Chronos); Peace (Eirene); Being Itself (autoeinai); Life Itself (autozoe); Power Itself (autodunamis) and Other "Self Names"; Holy of Holies; King of Kings; Lord of Lords; God of Gods; Perfect (Teleios); One (Hen); Plato; Plotinus; Proclus; Dionysius; Treatise on Divine Names/Retrospective View; Chapter IX: Mystical Theology; William Ralph Inge; Baron von Hugel; Evelyn Underhill; Rufus Jones; The Treatise; Chapter X: The Celestial Hierarchy; Seraphim; Cherabim; Thrones; Dominions; Virtues; Powers; Principalities; Archangels; Angels; Chapter XI: The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy; The Celestial Hierarchy; The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy; The Mosaic Hierarchy (or the Hierarchy of the Law); The Catechumens; The Laity, or the Initiates; The Monks Deacons; Priests; The Bishops; The Sacramental levels; Five "Spiritual Senses"; The Sacrament of Baptism; The Eucharist; Consecration and Use of Holy Oil; Review; Chapter XII: The Letters; Letters of Dionysius; Letter One; Letter Two; Letter Three; Letter Four; Letter Five; Letter Six; Letter Seven; Letter Eight; Letter Nine; Letter Ten; Letter Eleven; Closing Comments on the Letters; Chapter XIII: Selected Authors Who Influenced Dionysius; The Selected Authors; Plato (427-347 B.C.); Aristotle (384-322 B.C.); Paul (d. ca. 64-67); Clement of Alexandria (150-220); Origen (185-254); Plotinus (204-270); Iamblichus (d. 326); Gregory of Naziansus (330-389); Gregory of Nyssa (331-396); Proclus (412-485); Recurring Themes; Chapter XIV: Selected Authors Influenced by Pseudo-Dionysius; St. Gregory the Great (540-604); St. Maximus the Confessor (580-662); St. John of Damascus (676-750); Hilduin (d. 840); Erigena (815-877); Hugh of St. Victor (1087-1141); Richard of St. Victor (d. 1173); Thomas Aquinas (1226-1274); Bonaventure (1221-1274); Albert the Great (1193-1280); Dante Alighieri (1256-1321); Meister Eckhart (1260-1327); Johannes Tauler (1300-1361); Heinrich Suso; Chapter XV: More Selected Authors Influenced by Dionysius; John Ruysbroeck (1293-1381); Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464); Denis the Carthusian (1402-1471); John Colet (1467-1519); John of the Cross (1542-1591); John Milton (1608-1674); Chapter XVI: The Unknown Authors; Theologia Germanica; The Cloud of Unknowing; Chapter XVII: Legacy; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.