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Dionysius the Areopagite

( Christian theologian.)

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Biography Dionysius the Areopagite
(ca. 500)
Dionysius the Areopagite was the Athenian convert to Christianity by St. Paul (Acts 17:34), according to Eusebius of Caesarea, later he became the first bishop of Athens. Around the turn 5 and 6 cc. Probably in Syria, an unknown Christian writer had created a number of theological treatises in Greek. These works, based on the biblical tradition and the tradition of the philosophy of Neoplatonism, exhibit a direct relationship of the author of the pagan Neo-Platonist Proclus. For the most authoritative writers and published them under the name of Dionysius the Areopagite, who lived in 1. Such hoaxes are not uncommon in ancient times, but this was one of the most successful.
Building works of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite includes five tracts. In his treatise on the divine names the author discusses the various names and definitions that are given in the Bible neimenuemomu God - such as the 'king of kings', 'Ancient of Days', 'Good', 'I AM' and 'One' - and explains the meaning of a naming. In his treatise on mystical theology, he says that God transcends all that man can conceive or express in words, and for this reason that God is above even the benefits of being and unity. In his treatise On the celestial hierarchy, . After entertaining arguments about the symbolic language, . used in the Bible to describe angels, . detail the 9 ranks of celestial intelligible essences (angels): seraphim, . Cherubim, . thrones, . domination, . force, . power, . superiors, . archangels and angels, . - Each of whom reported their knowledge of God's angels a lower rank,
. In his treatise On the Church hierarchy describes the life of the church: the sacrament of baptism, . Eucharist and anointing; ranks of the priesthood - Bishop, . priest and deacons; of catechumens (published by the) and penitents, . just Christians and monastics; funeral rites,
. Finally, . in the case of the ten letters are developing individual themes of these treatises and made one more attempt to convince the reader, . that their author - indeed Dionysius the Areopagite, . reference to the fact, . that he witnessed a solar eclipse, . which occurred at the time of Christ's crucifixion,

For thousands of years the authenticity of works of this case was no doubt about that, probably due not so much the dexterity of fraud, as outlined in the appeal are teaching. For the first time they are referenced Monophysite North Antioch in the first half 6 in the. Indeed, in 4 letter seemed to contain indications that the author combines the divine and human nature of Christ, as did monophysites, rather than divide them, as is customary in the Orthodox tradition. However, in 7. Maximus the Confessor interpreted the writings of Pseudo-Dionysius in the orthodox sense, thus ensuring the wide dissemination of both the Greek East and the Latin West. At 9. Hilduin, abbot of Saint-Denis in France, carried out a rough Latin translation of the shell Areopagitica, accompanied by scenes from his life, in which the author was identified not only with the pupil of the Apostle Paul, but also with St.. Dionysius of Paris, the patron of Saint-Deniyskogo Abbey. Later, as in 9. John Scotus Eriugena implemented a new, much more accurate Latin translation. At 12 and 13 centuries. works of Pseudo-Dionysius used the enormous influence among Western theologians and mystics. Thomas Aquinas quotes them about 1700 times. In the Renaissance, Marsilio Ficino made a new translation of treatises on the divine names and the mysterious theology, accompanied by commentary, but Lorenzo Valla questioned the authenticity of the shell Areopagitica. Over time, the view prevailed Lorenzo Valla, and to 19 in. psevdepigrafichesky nature of these works was recognized by virtually all.

However, the question of the authorship of these treatises is not so important in comparison with the importance of the ideas contained in them. This is primarily the idea of incomprehensibility of God, the doctrine that the perfection of God is transmitted through a complex intermediate hierarchy, and the recognition of the symbolic nature of all the verbal definition of God. These ideas were not entirely original, but they are widely available thanks to Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite.

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