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The Origins of the Christian Mystical TraditionFrom Plato to Denys$
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Andrew Louth

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199291403

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199291403.001.0001

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Denys the Areopagite

Denys the Areopagite

Chapter:
(p.154) VIII Denys the Areopagite
Source:
The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition
Author(s):

Andrew Louth (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199291403.003.0008

Denys represents the end of the development of Patristic mystical theology. Denys completes all the main lines of the mystical theology of the Fathers: the Origenist tradition has achieved its classical expression in the realm of mystical theology in Evagrius; the Augustinian vision has been articulated in the West; and in Denys, the tradition of apophatic theology, which has its roots in Philo and Gregory of Nyssa, is summed up in the tiny, but immensely influential,Mystical Theology. It is shown that apophatic theology and symbolic theology — or iconic theology — are two sides of the same coin. Nowhere was that implication of the radical transcendence of the God of the Christians, a God who creates out of nothing, so clearly recognized as in Byzantium. For all his deep and diverse importance in the West, it is there that Denys finds his true home.

Keywords:   mystical theology, God, apophatic theology, symbolic theology

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