Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite
(c. AD 500)
Also known as Pseudo-Dionysius, and Pseudo-Denys or Denis. A mystical theologian, confusedly identified in the early Middle Ages with Dionysius the Areopagite whose conversion is described by St Paul (Acts 17: 34). The Pseudo-Dionysian writings aim at a synthesis between Christianity and Neoplatonism, and the mistaken belief that they originated at the time of the Apostles contributed to their authority. Man approaches God by leaving behind perception and reason, and entering an obscurity from which he will be rescued by a ‘ray of divine darkness’, and brought to knowledge of the being that in its total unity transcends all description. The 9th-century translation by Eriugena provided the rhetorical model for much subsequent mystical writing.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

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