Category Archives: Dionysius the Areopagite

Dionysian Ponderings: Divine Knowledge, Creation, and Modal Collapse

How does the infinite Creator know the contingent realities he has brought into existence without compromising his metaphysical simpleness? Or as St Dionysius the Areopagite asks: How is God to comprehend something among the intelligibles since he does not have … Continue reading

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Dionysian Ponderings: Out with the Gods, in with the Names

St Dionysius is a Neoplatonist, which means that he teaches a metaphysics of participation. In general terms, David Schindler explains, “to speak of metaphysical participation is to say that one thing has what it is with and indeed after and … Continue reading

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Dionysian Ponderings: Created by the Good as Desire for the Good

The transcendent Deity, states St Dionysius the Areopagite, is beyond all naming, for it exists beyond differentiation and intelligibility, beyond being and beings, surpassing classification, taxonomy, and categories, even thought itself. “It is at a total remove from every condition, … Continue reading

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Dionysian Ponderings: The Parhypostatic Nullity of Evil

Ecstatic movement from the Good and Beautiful into the multiplicity of the good and beautiful, succeeded by joyful return to the Good and Beautiful. From God, in God, through God, to God. Abiding, procession, reversion; diffusion, illumination, union. Creation and … Continue reading

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Dionysian Ponderings: Transcending Freedom and Necessity

“There is no evidence in the Dionysian corpus of creatio ex nihilo,” avers Timothy D. Knepper; “rather, the divine names, the properties they source, and the beings that participate in them, all preexist in and process from God” (Negating Negation, … Continue reading

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Dionysian Ponderings: To let be or not let be–that is the question

Did the Lord God Almighty have to create the world? This is the question I now wish to pose to St Dionysius the Areopagite. It is a pressing question for Christian students of the Areopagite because he is so deeply … Continue reading

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Dionysian Ponderings: Creatio ex Nihilo, Divine Energies, and the Erotic God

Did St Dionysius the Areopagite espouse the catholic understanding of the creatio ex nihilo? As noted in the preceding article, this understanding comprised three elements: (1) rejection of pre-existent matter, (2) absolute beginning, and (3) divine freedom. Neither rejection of eternal … Continue reading

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