The Philosophy of Dionysius the Areopagite

An Introduction to the Structure and the Content of the Treatise On the Divine Names


This book proposes a reading of Dionysius the Areopagite's longest and most important treatise 'On the Divine Names' from a philosophical point of view, rather than from a theological point of view which dominates the secondary literature. More in particular, it proposes an interpretation of the puzzling structure of the treatise which takes its starting point from earlier interpretations of medieval and modern scholars. The new reading of Dionysius' main text achieves more coherence than they did precisely because of the philosophical angle, which is meant to serve as a complement, not an alternative, to theological and historical interpretations. Thus the book can be read as an introduction to the philosophy of Dionyius as it shows how the author makes original moves in introducing the Christian concepts of peace and creation as philosophical concepts in a Platonic framework.
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Biographical Note

Christian Schäfer, Dr. phil. (1995) and habilitation (2000), University of Regensburg, is Professor of Christian Philosophy at the University of Munich. He has published in the field of Presocratic and Platonic Philosophy including Unde Malum (Würzburg 2002) and Xenophanes of Kolophon (Stuttgart/Leipzig 1996).


All those interested in intellectual history, history of Late Antiquity, the history of the Church, as well as scholars and students of philosophy, theology, classics and byzantine studies.

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