"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, January 23, 2012

Dionysius Between Orthodoxy and Heresy

2012 will see at least two new studies that I am aware of on the person, work, and legacy of that mysterious character known to history as Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite. Another was released in November of last year: Filip Ivanovich, Dionysius the Areopagite Between Orthodoxy and Heresy (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011), 187pp.

The publisher provides the following overview of this book:
Dionysius the Areopagite between Orthodoxy and Heresy aims to explore the thought of one of the most controversial characters of Christian history, Dionysius the Areopagite, and put it in a correct context, between pagan (namely Neoplatonic) philosophy on the one side, and Christian theology, on the other. In significant part, the book examines Dionysius Neoplatonic sources, but it also offers insights into the original points of his philosophy and theology, thus showing how he managed to achieve a masterful integration of pagan thought and newly revealed faith. The chapters of the book, taken together, try to offer a broad insight into the Areopagite s thought, through examining not just his intellectual background and milieu, but also some of the crucial features of his work, such as notions of hierarchy, deification, apophatic and cataphatic theologies, icon, and others. This work is of a multidisciplinary character, since Dionysius thought has been studied from different points of view, so the contributions range from philosophy and theology to history and art history. Dionysius the Areopagite between Orthodoxy and Heresy is intended for both specialists and non-specialists. Apart from being a collection of specific studies, it can also serve as an introduction to the Areopagite s thought, and will be useful to all those interested in late antique and early Christian philosophy and theology, patristics, and cultural studies in general.

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