Dionysius the Areopagite (post 2)

Mystical Theology

Chapter 1

But these things are not to be disclosed to the uninitiated, by whom I mean those attached to the objects of human thought, and who believe there is no superessential Reality beyond, and who imagine that by their own understanding they know it that has made Darkness Its secret place. And if the principles of the divine Mysteries are beyond the understanding of these, what is to be said of others still more incapable thereof, who describe the transcendental First Cause of all by characteristics drawn from the lowest order of beings, while they deny that it is in any way above the images which they fashion after various designs; whereas they should affirm that, while it possesses all the positive attributes of the universe (being the Universal Cause) yet, in a more strict sense, it does not possess them, since it transcends them all; wherefore there is no contradiction between the affirmations and the negations, inasmuch as it infinitely precedes all conceptions of deprivation, being beyond all positive and negative distinctions.

Post 2 Dionysius the Areopagite

Pope Benedict’s XVI writes on Dionysius:

Today Dionysius the Areopagite has a new relevance: he appears as a great mediator in the modern dialogue between Christianity and the mystical theologies of Asia, whose characteristic feature is the conviction that it is impossible to say who God is, that only indirect things can be said about him; that God can only be spoken of with the “not”, and that it is only possible to reach him by entering into this indirect experience of “not”. And here a similarity can be seen between the thought of the Areopagite and that of Asian religions; he can be a mediator today as he was between the Greek spirit and the Gospel.


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