skip to primary navigationskip to content

Dionysius Reading Group

Dionysius of Areopagite was a late fifth or early sixth century AD Christian Neoplatonist who, in the guise of an Athenian disciple of Paul of Tarsus, transformed the theology of Syrianus and Proclus.

The writings of the Corpus Dionysiacum have exercised an enormous influence on medieval, early modern, and contemporary thinkers, including Maximus the Confessor, John Scotus Eriugena, Bonaventure, Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, Meister Eckhart, Nicholas of Cusa, Marsilio Ficino, John of the Cross, Gregory Palamas, Vladimir Soloviev, Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Marion.

The purpose of the writings as well the identity of the author, that mysterious early sixth century philosopher, mystic and theologian known to us only through his nom de plume as “Dionysius the Areopagite,” have given rise to endless debates between historians, philosophers, and theologians.

We will meet fortnightly to continue our exploration of the Corpus Dionysiacum.  We have, in Michelmas term 2016, read the Divine Names, and in Michelmas term 2017, read the Celestial Hierarchy.  We will, in the Lent term 2018, continue to read the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, focusing on the issues of greatest interest to the group.

Selected readings will be sent by email to members who have joined the mailing list.  Please e-mail the organizers to join (see below).  We ask all participants to read, if possible, the relevant parts of the selected readings in advance, so that we may all enjoy in a fruitful discussion. 

Lent Term 2018

January 17: Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, Ch 1, What is the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy?
January 31: Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, Chs 2-3, Illumination and Communion
February 14: Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, Chs 4-5, Initiation and Consecration  
February 28: Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, Chs 6-7, Ranks and Rituals

Text available online

Meeting place: Peterhouse (F5)

Meeting dates: January 17th, January 31st, February 14th, February 28th

Meeting time: 20:00-22:00 (8-10 PM).

Everyone is welcome.  Invite Friends.  Tea and biscuits will be provided.
Please e-mail Ryan (rh648@) to join the mailing list and RSVP in advance.


Current students and supervisors can access the Faculty’s Moodle page by clicking on the image below.