Talk:Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite

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Untitled[edit]

Um, how certain are you that Pseudo-Dionysius is actually Peter the Iberian? That seems speculative at best, to me. Adam Bishop 01:45, 6 Feb 2004 (UTC)

It's too bad to drop the English titles of works in the "Pseudo-Dionysius" corpus. I've restored the bit about Lorenzo Valla: he couldn't come up with a name, but his detective work was a milestone in analysis of written documents. I agree with Adam Bishop that a paragraph on how the scholars made the identification is the real story and the interesting part. Just announcing the new identification isn't very satisfying. BTW, I hope we don't proceed to step 2, suppressing all references to the "Pseudo-Dionysius"...Wetman 02:15, 6 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I'm a little wary of accepting this identification as proven, rather than a theory. No, I don't have any special knowledge of this Christian writer, but a couple of references I pulled off the shelf do not mention this theory. One, F.C. Happold in his book Mysticism, states "The identity of Dionysius the Areopagite, or, as he is often called, the Pseudo-Dionyius, is unknown. he was probably a Syrian monk, living at the end of the fifth and the beginning of the sixth century AD." I would definitely like an explanation (1) why scholars thought he belonged to Syria circa AD 500; (2) why he is better identified with a writer who appears to have lived in the Caucasus; & finally (3) how another identity replaced an otherwise identifiable writer as the author of these works. Not that this couldn't have happened, but there is a story that needs to be told. -- llywrch 18:56, 6 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Scholars place him in that time period, 500-600 AD, because of the particulars of the liturgy that he describes. That also works for placing him in Syria. Whoever said that he was someone other than a Syrian monk of that time did not look at the liturgical detials. There have been many attempts to identify him, and the most recent and well accepted conclusion is that he is not anyone except himself, a Syrian monk. P.S. I made all this up. j/k. not really. but seriously I am. j/k.

12/7/2005 re inserted text stating Dionysian oral tradition. Naiveté probagated by Stanford University and the link off of this page.

Copyedit needed[edit]

This page needs serious copyedit in re: consistent capitalization (Christian, neo-Platonist, pseudo-Dionysius, I believe are the correct capitalizations). This is more a note to myself to come back to it, but if anyone wants to take on the job first, you're welcome to it Evan Donovan 01:05, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

As you note on your userpage, is is often quicker to make the change than to wax eloquent about the need! --Blainster 06:15, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
I see that Merriam-Webster's prefers Neoplatonism, so I will change to that form for convention's sake. --Blainster 06:26, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
I usually see it written "Pseudo-Dionysius," like Pseudo was his first name or something. Actually, more and more writers, most significantly Paul Rorem, just call him Dionysius or Denys. I went ahead and captialized all the instances I saw, but didn't erase the "Pseudo-". -- Hansonfan (talk) 07:58, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

"As above, so below"[edit]

We can't remember this ever being a "Platonist" analogy, although it is clearly akin to the Analogy of the divided line and other Platonist teachings. Perhaps there is some reference in Plotinus to it? We do recall it being a wiccan saying.

In any case, this little tidbit needs to be cited. For reals. --Wild rabbit 01:28, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Page name[edit]

Why Pseudo-Dionysius, poor Dionysius, and not Dionysius the Areopagite like Homer?--85.18.14.35 10:02, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Ps-Dionysius himself tries to leave the impression that he is a NT character. Which he is not, knowingly. So the case is quite different from Homer.→ Aethralis 06:43, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Pseudo-Dionysius is not "poor Dionysius" but "imitation-Dionysius". Dionysius the Areopagite is a separate figure, in Acts of the Apostles. Adopting a false persona in order to give "weight" to one's text is a Christian technique established in the earliest church.--Wetman 08:53, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Actually it can be not all about acquiring "weight" but about being "in the spirit of" somebody. So adoption of a name of authority may mean that the person feels himself putting forward the same ideas. → Aethralis 15:41, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Would it make sense just to combine the two articles and have both Pseudo- and Dionysius redirect here? It's not like the actual Dionysius the Areopagite accomplished anything worth mentioning, apart from his bishopric; his whole article is a note that he existed, followed by an explanation that his identity got co-opted by some sixth century author. Couldn't one just clear that up in the introduction, and spend the rest of the article discussing the imposter that really put him on the map? -- Hansonfan (talk) 07:58, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Would we combine Princess Margaret and Monty Python's Flying Circus's Pantomime Princess Margaret? --Wetman (talk) 14:49, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Fair point, but even the links on the real Dionysius' page, which discuss the Holy Hieromartyr Dionysius of Athens, mostly praise him as the author of the mystical treatises that Western scholarship attributes to almost anybody else. I wouldn't combine Philo and Pseudo-Philo, because we have treatises from both of them; but if the only things we knew about Princess Margaret came from a sentence in Acts and a few paragraphs of Eusebius, whereas the Monty Python Margaret had decisively influenced the course of Western and Eastern Christianity, I would probably think it over.Hansonfan (talk) 04:40, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 04:23, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

What about his writings, ideas, theology?[edit]


Presently, this article is almost entirely about who this writer was historically. But the reason he's important at all is because his ideas and the influence of his ideas. These are briefly skirted over. Please expand, expand, expand!

-- Bryan, March 7, 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.237.89.173 (talk) 06:49, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree. I am interested in gothic architecture and I understand that some scholars believe that the pseudo Dionysius' writings heavily influenced Abbot Suger when he was "inventing" gothic. If true, this would appear to be by far the most important lasting legacy of this rather obscure figure. Spiridens (talk) 12:39, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
You know that his most important legacy is not such. His most important legacy is the articulation of theoria. Which is denied in the West. His most important legacy is hesychasm. As he is completely misrepresented by the Roman Catholic church (Catholic - Orthodox theological differences). As he denies the monad (unity) for instead the sentience of God the father. Making his position a rejection of Platonic, Neoplatonic and Aristotlian metaphysics. And yet he keeps getting labeled Neoplatonic. See how he plays into the hesychasm controversy- [1]LoveMonkey (talk) 12:48, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
He's Neo-Platonist. He's comically Neo-Platonist. His beloved teacher "Heirotheus" is a cipher for Proclus, Neo-Platonist. He cites Proclus' book, The Elements of Theology. The only reason he "denies the monad" is because Damascius, Neo-Platonist, denies the monad. Spiridens, he's probably super-obscure to anyone who doesn't work in the field, but he's actually a major figure in both Eastern and Western Christian theology, and has been since his fake books were cited by Severus. I don't know anything about Abbot Suger, but maybe you want to hit up The Celestial Hierarchy? If you learn anything interesting, don't hesitate to add it.Hansonfan (talk) 18:48, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Abelard Episode[edit]

Abelard didn't really "disentangle" the "three different Dionysiuses." He just pointed out that Bede said D. the Areopagite was bishop of Corinth, not Athens. But since D. of Paris was thought to have been bishop of Athens, he could not have been D. the Areopagite and thus not the author of the (Ps.-)D. corpus. So Abelard was only right to say that D. of Paris was not D. the Areopagite. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.48.231.155 (talk) 14:29, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Solar Eclipse[edit]

It is obvious from the Areopagite's text that he refers to a supernatural phenomenon, not to a natural solar eclipse, so all the comments on this point in the article are simply meaningless.

The problem is that it was written quite some time after the event, 6th century. Yes, if the comments were contemporaneous with the Crucifixion, it might be another matter. So the text appears to be construing an "out of season" solar eclipse too much later to be simply accepted prima facie. Student7 (talk) 19:01, 21 June 2012 (UTC)