IN DEFENSE OF THE DIONYSIAN AUTHORSHIP


The question of the authorship of the Dionysian corpus is an interesting and ever-present one. It seems to be almost universally accepted in today’s scholarly world that the author is not, in fact, the historical St. Dionysius whom St. Paul converted, but is rather a “Pseudo” Dionysius. But what, if any, is this pseudo’s connection to the historical St. Dionysius, and what is his true identity? Many theories are bandied back and forth.

However, as faithful Orthodox Christians, we are also obliged to consider the witness of the Church itself. Fathers reading and interpreting the Dionysian corpus understood St. Dionysius himself to be the author, and the liturgical service in his honor attributes the writings to him. Thus we ought to give consideration to the articles below, two by the Rev. John Parker who translated St. Dionysius in the late nineteenth century, and one by the eminent Romanian theologian Fr. Dumitru Staniloae, who lay out arguments for the traditional, Dionysian authorship of the works. Both consider, among other things, the supposed Neoplatonic influence upon the Dionysian writings, and question if perhaps, in fact, the Neoplatonists were influenced rather by St. Dionysius?

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I would humbly surmise that we are obliged to consider ONLY the witness of the Church itself. Read the articles here….

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