In the first part of this study, the theme of the union ( henosis) is analysed in Dionysius the Areopagite's De Divinis Nominibus. The starting point of this inquiry is the trinitarian theology of Dionysius. He distinguishes between Union ( henosis) and distinction ( diakrisis), ad intra of the divine Persons and ad extra of the divines names, understood as powers. The movement of procession and conversion of the divine names follows the very structure of the treatise: from the Union to the One, a movement called "the circle of love". In a second moment, the word henosis or the formula henosis hyper noun, "union above the intellect", are analysed in the De divinis nominibus, where they allude to the "union without confusion" of the ideas one with the other, or to the union of intellect with God in the unknowledge.
The second part is dedicated to the union with God in the De Mystica Theologia. The author first studies Moses' ascension and his entrance in the Darkness within the tradition of the commentaries of Exodus, such as Philo's or Gregory of Nyssa's treatises De Vita Mosis; she analyses the progress of negative theology towards the mystical union and she tries to identify the "unknown God" with whom the intellect becomes unified in the neoplatonician theory and also in the context of Paul's discourse on the Areopage. She concludes with an examination of the unio mystica and its major features in Pseudo-Dionysius.
Restricted Access


EUR €270.00USD $363.00

Biographical Note

Ysabel de Andia is agrégée of philosophy and Doctor in patristic theology (Roma 1982) and in philosophy (Paris 1994). She is currently preparing an edition with French translation of De Divinis Nominibus and De Mystica Theologia for the collection Sources chrétienne. She organised a International Colloquium in 1994 on Dionysius the Areopagite and its Influence in Orient and Occident, which will be published in Paris, in 1996. She is Director of Research in the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) in Philosophy in Paris.

Review Quotes

' The greatest strenght of this book is the enormous attention to detail that its main text and footnotes reveal. The author has digested a considerable range of scholarship so that any reader who wishes to find information about specific points within ps.-Dionysian doctrine will be richliy and speedily rewarded.'
Stephen Gersh, Church History, 1998.
' Cette thèse largement documentée offre une étude importante sur la notion théologique et spirituelle d'union à Dieu selon Denys.'
Revue des Sciences Philosophiques et Theologiques, 2000.
' Ysabel de Andia is an experienced and enthusiastic guide…'
Edouard Jeauneau, Speculum - A Journal of Medieval Studies, 2000.
' …cette étude sur la mystique dionysienne aura […] sa place parmi les références majeures.'
J.-Cl. Larchet, Revue d'Histoire et de Philosophie Religieuses, 2000.


All those interested in neoplatonic, medieval or byzantine Philosophy as well as in mystical Theology.


Collection Information