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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Re-thinking Dionysius the Areopagite
Coakley, Sarah and Charles M. Stang, editors

Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009 pp. vi + 234. $34.95

Series Information
Directions in Modern Theology



Description: “Dionysius the Areopagite,” the early sixth-century Christian writer who took the name of Paul’s first convert in Athens, effected a marriage between Christianity and Neoplatonism which was, from the start, as controversial as it was generative. Today’s renewed fascination with Dionysius arises partly from the interest in “apophatic” thought that has occurred in post-Kantian continental philosophy, and partly from the contemporary attraction to “mystical” practice. But the Corpus Dionysiacum is easily misunderstood. A false conflation between post-modern “deferral” and Dionysius’ “mystical theology” can easily occur, and little can be properly understood of Dionysius’ import until his oeuvre is read as a whole, and through the complex history of his reception in both the East and West. This volume provides a succinct and clear analysis of the original context and intent of the Dionysian writings, and of their subsequent interpretation in Christian tradition, up to the present day.

Subjects: Early Christian Literature, Literature

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Review by Ilaria L. E. Ramelli
Published 3/20/2010
Citation: Ilaria L. E. Ramelli, review of Sarah Coakley and Charles M. Stang, eds., Re-thinking Dionysius the Areopagite, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2010).


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