Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite and Eastern Orthodoxy: Acceptance of the Corpus Dionysiacum and Integration of Neoplatonism into Christian Theology



This essay will argue that the heritage of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite represents the most living and widespread influence of Neoplatonic ideas in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. First, the attention will be given to the influence or placement of the Dionysian corpus in the midst of the cultural formation of Byzantine imperial Christian identity. This cultural pattern is still an important element of the mindset of Eastern Orthodoxy and, as a living experience of this tradition, it still constitutes a vibrant representation of the essentially Neoplatonic mentality. Second, the significance of Dionysian understanding of celestial and ecclesiastical hierarchies will be briefly addressed in view of their impact on metaphysical stratification of the world, theurgical connotation of church liturgy and clerical structuring of priestly ranks as the most characteristic elements inherited from Neoplatonism and expressly present in Eastern Orthodox spirituality.


Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite; Dionysian corpus; Eastern Orthodoxy; Neoplatonism; Christianity and Greek philosophy; Eastern Orthodox spirituality

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