Publication Date: 1993-02-25
"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 biblicalinterpretation, 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 hisreaders, 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. TheDionysian 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 accessibleto both scholars and students and includes a comprehensive bibliography of secondary sources.