Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

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| Editors: David A. Leeming

Dionysius the Areopagite

  • Dimitrios PallisEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27771-9_200249-1

Introduction: The Author and his Writings

Scholars in the field of so-called “Christian mysticism” use the name “Dionysius the Areopagite” (henceforth “Dionysius”) to refer to the interesting author who employed the name of the well-known Athenian disciple of Paul as his pseudonym (Acts 17:16–34). His writings, which are composed in Greek, began to become known in the early sixth century, while the first formal reference to them as a corpus of texts with apostolic authority seems to have been made by the supporters of Severus, Patriarch of Antioch, in a colloquy in Constantinople in 532. At this meeting, one of the key representatives of the party that was engaged in discussions with them expressed a query motivated by theological considerations with regard to these writings. In the medieval period, the supposed apostolic authority and the persuasive staging of the texts contributed to their popularity among readers. However, it is possible to argue that it was primarily the spiritual...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Theology and ReligionUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK