By Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite / Paulist Press / 1987
The real identity of the person who chose to write under the pseudonym “Dionysius the Areopagite” is unknown. Even the exact dates of the writings have never been determined. The texts themselves, though relatively short, are at points seemingly impenetrable and have mystified readers for centuries. Yet the influence of this shadowy figure on other mystical writers from the early middle ages on is readily discernible. The author’s formulation of negative theology stresses the impotence of human attempts to penetrate the “cloud of unknowing,” and is a perennial favorite of spiritually minded believers. Brief essays from top scholars exploring the main themes of Pseudo-Dionysius’ work accompany the primary texts, and include contributions by René Roques, Jaroslav Pelikan, Jean Leclercq, and Karlfried Froehlich.
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Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite is an important and influential Christian author who wrote in the 5th or 6th century. Even though it is now recognized that the attribution of these works to the Dionysius mentioned in Acts 17:34 is false, they're still incredibly important for the history of Christian doctrine due to their influence on Eastern and Medieval Christianity and the Christian contemplative tradition.