By John Dillon, Sarah Klitenic Wear
'Dionysius the Areopagite' is arguably some of the most mysterious and fascinating figures to emerge from the past due old global. Writing most likely round 500 C.E., and probably attached with the circle of Severus of Antioch, Dionysius manipulates a Platonic metaphysics to explain a hierarchical universe: as with the Hellenic Platonists, he arranges the celestial and fabric cosmos right into a sequence of triadic strata. those strata emanate from one unified being and include beings that diversity from enhanced to inferior, looking on their proximity to God. not just do all issues within the hierarchy perform God, but in addition all issues are inter-connected, in order that the reduce hierarchies absolutely perform the better ones. This metaphysics lends itself to a sacramental method just like that of the Hellenic ritual, theurgy. Theurgy permits people to arrive the divine through studying the divine because it exists in creation.
Although Dionysius' metaphysics and faith are just like that of Iamblichus and Proclus in lots of methods, Pseudo-Dionysius differs essentially in his use of an ecclesiastical cosmos, instead of that of the Platonic Timaean cosmos of the Hellenes. This booklet discusses the Christian Platonist's version of Hellenic metaphysics, language, and spiritual ritual. whereas Dionysius sincerely works in the Hellenic culture, he innovates to combine Hellenic and Christian idea.
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Additional info for Dionysius the Areopagite and the Neoplatonist Tradition
We have ample evidence that Porphyry accepted Plotinus’ doctrine of the supranoetic, supra-essential One, but we also have sufﬁcient evidence that he postulated that the One, in its creative, outgoing aspect, could be seen, in the words of the later Neoplatonist Damascius1, reporting his views, as the ‘Father of the Intelligible Triad’, that is to say, as the ruling monad of the intelligible world. It is this position of Porphyry’s that makes him so useful to Christian intellectuals who were struggling with the problem of a God who is manifested in a complex of three ‘persons’, all of whom must be co-ordinate and interactive with one another, if one is not to fall into some variety or other of Arianism.
42, DP) It is this joint mingling and distinctness that Socrates wants to see among the partless intelligible realities; to this he invites his companions’ attention, applauding this insight which unites while it distinguishes the intellectual powers governing the sense world – ideal Likeness and Unlikeness, Plurality of that realm and Unity, divine Rest and Motion. (In Parm. 22, trans. Dillon) 8 See Basil, De Spir. 18, 45; Or. 24, 4 (PG 31, 609A 11–B4); Gregory of Nyssa, de diff. ess. et hyp. 4 (=Basil, Ep.
44 Proclus, In Eucl. ; 91, 1ff. 45 Iamblichus, In Tim. fr. 49 Dillon; Proclus, In Eucl. 108, 10–13; 164, 8–11. 46 Gersh outlines these activities in (1978), 73. 47 ‘The demiurgic nous has set up these two principles in himself, the straight and circular, and produced out of himself two monads, the one acting in a circular fashion to perfect all intelligible essences, the other moving in a straight line to bring all perceptible things to birth. Since the soul is intermediate between sensibles and intelligibles, she moves God as Monad in the Divine Names 31 Dionysius clearly wishes to show that God has the qualities of motion and stability in a transcendent manner, lest we ﬁnd him similar to the stable things of the material order.