The Neoplatonic Philosophy of Dionysius the Areopagite

Eric D. Perl, New York: Suny Press, 2008


The work of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite stands at a cusp in the history of thought: it is at once Hellenic and Christian, classical and medieval, philosophical and theological. Unlike the predominantly theological or text-historical studies which constitute much of the scholarly literature on Dionysius, Theophany is completely philosophical in nature, placing Dionysius within the tradition of ancient Greek philosophy and emphasizing, in a positive light, his continuity with the non-Christian Neoplatonism of Plotinus and Proclus. Eric D. Perl offers clear expositions of the reasoning that underlies Neoplatonic philosophy and explains the argumentation that leads to and supports Neoplatonic doctrines. He includes extensive accounts of fundamental ideas in Plotinus and Proclus, as well as Dionysius himself, and provides an excellent philosophical defense of Neoplatonism in general.

(Text from the publisher)

Table of contents

Note on Translations
1. Beyond Being and Intelligibility
2. Being as Theophany
3. Goodness, Beauty, and Love
4. The Problem of Evil
5. The Hierarchy of Being
6. The Continuum of Cognition
7. Symbolism


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