“No Longer I”

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 Five charts the “apophatic anthropology” of the CD. Paul is Dionysius' preeminent witness to this “apophasis of the self.” For Dionysius, Paul loves God with such a fervent erōs that he comes to stand outside himself, in ecstasy, and thereby opens himself to the indwelling of Christ, and so appears to his sober peers as a lovesick madman. Dionysius draws on the Platonic and Philonic taxonomies of madness and ecstasy, but complements and corrects this philosophical inheritance by appeal to Paul. The chapter concludes by returning to the definition of hierarchy with which Chapter Three begins and arguing that the second element of that definition—hierarchy as a “state of understanding” (epistēmē)—must be understood as a play on words, that through hierarchy we can enjoy an ecstatic epistēmē, that is, an under‐standing predicated precisely on standing‐outside ourselves.

Keywords: apophatic anthropology; apophasis; eros; ecstasy; madness; union; Philo; Plato; Paul; episteme

Chapter.  18537 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity ; Religious Studies

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