Apophasis and Pseudonymity in Dionysius the Areopagite: "No Longer I" (Oxford Early Christian Studies)

By Charles M. Stang

This can be an open entry name to be had less than the phrases of a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 overseas licence. it truly is loose to learn at Oxford Scholarship on-line and provided as a unfastened PDF obtain from OUP and chosen open entry locations.

This ebook examines the writings of an early sixth-century Christian mystical theologian who wrote lower than the identify of a convert of the apostle Paul, Dionysius the Areopagite. This 'Pseudo'-Dionysius is known for articulating a magical theology in components: a sacramental and liturgical mysticism embedded within the context of celestial and ecclesiastical hierarchies, and an austere, contemplative routine during which one steadily negates the divine names in hopes of soliciting union with the 'unknown God' or 'God past being.'

Charles M. Stang argues that the pseudonym and the impact of Paul jointly represent the simplest interpretive lens for figuring out the Corpus Dionysiacum [CD]. Stang demonstrates how Paul animates the full corpus, and indicates that the impression of Paul illuminates such important subject matters of the CD as hierarchy, theurgy, deification, Christology, confirmation (kataphasis) and negation (apophasis), diverse similarities, and unknowing. most significantly, Paul serves as a fulcrum for the expression of a brand new theological anthropology, an 'apophatic anthropology.' Dionysius figures Paul because the foremost apostolic witness to this apophatic anthropology, because the ecstatic lover of the divine who confesses to the rupture of his self and the indwelling of the divine in Gal 2:20: 'it is not any longer I who stay, yet Christ who lives in me.'

Building in this suggestion of apophatic anthropology, the publication forwards an evidence for why this sixth-century writer selected to jot down lower than an apostolic pseudonym. Stang argues that the very perform of pseudonymous writing itself serves as an ecstatic devotional workout wherein the author turns into cut up in and thereby open to the indwelling of the divine. Pseudonymity is in this interpretation fundamental and inner to the goals of the broader mystical company. therefore this ebook goals to question the excellence among 'theory' and 'practice' through demonstrating that unfavourable theology-often figured as a speculative and rarefied idea in regards to the transcendence of God-is in truth top understood as one of those asceticism, a devotional perform aiming for the entire transformation of the Christian topic.

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Eighty seventy seven Dagron, Vie et miracles de sainte Thècle [Greek textual content and French translation]. In what follows, I cite the lifestyles and the Miracles via bankruptcy and line quantity from Dagron’s version. except differently famous, translations are from Johnson, The lifestyles and Miracles of Thekla. seventy eight lifestyles 28. 7–14; brought up in Johnson, The lifestyles and Miracles of Thekla, 7. seventy nine Johnson, “Apocrypha and the Literary earlier in past due Antiquity,” forty eight. eighty Johnson, “Late vintage Narrative Fiction,” 194. See Shils, culture, seventy seven. See additionally Johnson, The existence and Miracles of Thekla, 17, 22. this is often an open entry model of the book allotted less than the phrases of the inventive Commons AttributionNonCommercial-NoDerivs licence (http://creativecommons. org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3. 0/), which allows non-commercial replica and distribution of the paintings, in any medium, supplied the unique paintings isn't altered or reworked whatsoever, and that the paintings is correctly stated. For advertisement re-use, please touch educational. permissions@oup. com Pseudonymous Writing within the overdue old Christian East sixty one If the apocryphal texts “summon the apostles into the area of the reader and give a contribution to the formation of imaginary worlds throughout a number of cultures, languages, and epochs,” so too needs to the artistic refashioning of these texts for modern audiences. eighty one basically adjustments to the narrative of ATh want main issue us right here. The first is the style during which the LM reconfigures the connection among Paul and Thekla. From the beginning, Thekla is portrayed now not as one amongst many early protomartyrs, yet as “the chief one of the women,” in moment position after Stephen as a champion for Christ. eighty two Johnson attributes this primacy to Thekla’s shut organization with Paul, whose ancient personality was once more and more renowned within the overdue fourth and fifth centuries. eighty three not just does the LM foreground the shut organization among Paul and Thekla, yet in these episodes of charged hope from the ATh, the LM continually underscores the erotic caliber in their dating. In detention center, for example, Paul feedback that Thekla has been “inflamed” (IíÆçºååŁBíÆØ) through the “small and vague spark (óðØíŁBæïò) of my phrases. ”84 it's awesome, then, that while within the ATh Thekla’s “incomparable hope for the apostle himself” turns out to reason Paul a few concern—hence the dramatic stress that's basically resolved on the finish of the ATh—here within the LM all such difficulties are smoothed over. contemplate Thekla’s first close to execution at the pyre. in line with the LM, Christ back seems to be to Thekla “in the likeness of Paul,” and provides that she “truly idea him to be Paul, and never Christ. ”85 And but the writer of the LM turns out either to acknowledge the matter raised by means of the ATh—namely, that Thekla misplaces her devotion on Paul instead of Christ—and to handle it from the beginning by way of putting the subsequent brief speech: Behold, Paul watched over me and protects me, lest bending, missing conviction, and shrinking on the fire I betray the gorgeous and blessed confession. yet fairly, may perhaps it now not be that I surrender Christ evangelized to me through you your self, Paul, nor the piety, and shame your educating.

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