A commentary for newcomers to Dionysius the Areopagite
Fr Tom, this was tremendously helpful. Looking forward to future installments. I struggle to wrap my head around the ways in which apophatic theology goes about approaching divine realities. The Scriptures on the surface seem to be more straightforward in declaring propositions about God. But I appreciate that the apophatic tradition can actually lead to a deeper apprehension of the Triune God and thus even deeper doxology. It is good to remember that limited (fallen?) human reason can only get so far in apprehending earthly not to mention heavenly realities. And so a willingness to sit lightly to experiential knowledge and even normal rational thought holds the promise of leading to an even greater encounter with Sophia and a fuller glimpse into the visio beatifica. I’m just not sure how to put that into practice. I’m keen to dive deeper into how the sacraments figure in the apophatic approach, and how that might influence how we both speak of them and celebrate them. Very grateful for your sharing your work in this area.
I will read this later but just one thing. The Parker translation is available through Logos or Verbum (https://verbum.com/product/10309/the-works-of-dionysius-the-areopagite). It's not free, but when you cite it, you get the actual citation from the actual print books, which is useful if you want to use it in an academic setting (like I did in my PhD).
I thought I could read this quickly before a meeting...nope.
I will try again later. Excellent work worthy of my quiet moments.
This is exactly what I am looking for! Earlier this year I read through The Divine Names and Mystical Theology as a kind of lectio divina. It has been difficult, however, to find basic, non-scholarly, philosophical commentary on the CD. So, I am along for the ride as far as you are willing to take it.
I have read most of The Lost Way of the Good and have found it illuminating. At once a clear and precise summary of our current disorder as well as pointing to way through it. Though I could have read more commentary about the Kyoto School in this regard. I read them some twenty years ago, though it has been so long I am not certain what I understood. I need to read them again. I am interested in how the Kyoto School can play a part in a Dionysian revival.
Also, I will broach the topic of contemplative practice. Obviously the Cloud author was greatly influenced by Dionysius. As was Meister Eckhart and, I assume, St. John of the Cross. As you well know, there have been attempts to revive such a practice through the likes of Centering Prayer. I find great inspiration in this regard in Martin Laird's books. How do you see this? Is there room for a dialogue with say Tibetan Dzogchen and Soto Zen/Shikintaza?