Thursday, 5 February 2015

Andreas Andreopoulos: Mystical and Apophatic, beyond Philosophical: a Defence of the Liturgical Reading of the Corpus Areopagiticum

Despite the permanent relevant interest, and the fact that several researchers (mostly Andrew Louth and Alexander Golitzin) have touched on the liturgical aspect of the Corpus Areopagiticum, there is a general lack of modern appreciation for the liturgical dimension of the work of Dionysios, as many main researchers in the area of Dionysian studies either ignore it, or flatly deny it (David Newheiser).
What this presentation will try to do it to propose a strongly liturgical conceptual foundation of the entire work of Dionysios.
First, it will situate the ‘mystical' element within the context of the sixth century, and also of the first century, which is consistent with the persona of Dionysios, and demonstrate its primarily liturgical/sacramental/ritual meaning.
Second, it will examine the conceptual relationship between the two Hierarchies, suggesting that the focus of (even) theCelestial Hierarchy is an exploration of the depth of ecclesiology and liturgy.
Third, it will argue that Dionysian apophaticism is best understood as a doxological apophaticism (rather than as an expression of intellectual negations), and therefore it points towards a ritual/symbolic and liturgical act rather than towards a philosophical ‘pure contemplation'.
Finally, it will propose that the Corpus Areopagiticum should be read in the aftermath of the liturgical and ecclesiological explosion the fourth century as an attempt to explore, explain and develop its intellectual depth, while at the same time it tried to keep a distance from argumentative doctrinal/philosophical theology.

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