“To an Unknown God”

Charles M. Stang

in Apophasis and Pseudonymity in Dionysius the Areopagite

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199640423
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738234 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

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Chapter Four traces Dionysius' appeals to Paul as he heightens the tension between the immanence and transcendence of God in the opening chapters of The Divine Names. I argue that his understanding of “unknowing,” which marks our union with the unknown God, derives from a creative reading of Paul's famous line from Acts 17, “What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.” This line from Paul's speech to the Areopagus then prompts a close reading of that entire speech, with an eye to understanding how it serves as a template for Dionysius' understanding of the relationship between pagan wisdom and Christian revelation.

Keywords: kataphasis; apophasis; immanence; transcendence; union; rest; silence; unknowing; Areopagus; Neoplatonism

Chapter.  15719 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity ; Religious Studies

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