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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, previously read the Divine Names.  We will, in Michelmas term 2017, continue reading the Celestial 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. 

Michelmas Term 2017

October 18: Celestial Hierarchy, Chs 1-3, Divine Illumination, Symbols, and Hierarchy
November 1: Celestial Hierarchy, Chs 4-6, Angelic Names, Order, and Ranks
November 15: Celestial Hierarchy, Chs 7-10, First, Middle, and Last Hierarchies
November 29: Celestial Hierarchy, Chs 11-15, Summary of Signs in Scripture

Text available online

Meeting place: Pembroke College (J2)

Meeting dates: October 18, November 1, November 15, November 29.

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 to attend.


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