Monday, January 24, 2011

Dionysius EH

Dionysius "theurgical understanding"
"Seeing that our hierarchy, most sacred of sacred sons, [consists] of the inspired and divine and theurgical understanding and energy and perfection..."
EH 1.1

EH 3.3.12 How might the imitation of God become ours differently if not by the memory of the most holy theurgies being renewed always by both the hierarchical sacred words and hierurgies? This we do, as the oracles say, in remembrance of [the theurgy]. This is why the divine hierarch standing at the divine altar hymns the aforementioned sacred theurgies of Jesus, most divinely provided for us, which are provided for salvation of our kind by the goodwill of the most all-holy Father in the Holy Spirit in order to to fulfil the oracle. Having praised also the awful majest [of the theurgies] and perceived a theoria with noetic eyes, he proceeds to the divinely-ordained symbolic hierergy of them; then after the sacred praises of the theurgies, the hierergy so far above him, both reverently and hierarchically crying out, he apologises as he sacredly approaches it.

EH 5.2 theoria is given as the commen element linking the activity of our hierarchy with that of heaven

Eh 3.3.15 In theses things the whole of the sacred order has gathered hierarchically and communicated with the most divine [gifts]; it ends with a sacred thanksgiving, having acknowledged and praised propotionately the grace of the theurgies.

EH 4.3.12 The theurgy is super-celestial and super-essential, of all our theurgical sanctification it is source and being and perfecting power... For it is a sacrament of God also, since for our sake in human form he is sanctified and theurgically perfects and sanctifies everything being perfected.

Dionysius "theurgical understanding"
"Seeing that our hierarchy, most sacred of sacred sons, [consists] of the inspired and divine and theurgical understanding and energy and perfection..."
EH 1.1

Dionysius Ecclesiastical Hierarchy stuff (old translation)

50 chapter one "ours is a Hierarchy of the inspired and Divine and Deifying science, and energy and perfection. This we will do, from the celestial and most sacred oracles--for those who have been initiated within the initiation of the sacred revelation derived from the hierarchical mysteries and traditions
What, then, is the Hierarchy of the Angels and Archangels, and supermundane Principalities and Authorities, Powers and Lordships, Divine Thrones, or Beings of the same ranks as the Thrones--which the Word of God describes as being near, and always about God, and with God, naming them in the Hebrew tongue Cherubim and Seraphim--what pertains to the sacred Orders and divisions of their ranks and Hierarchies you will find in the books we have written--not as befits their dignity, but to the best of our ability--in which we have followed the Word of God as it describes their Hierarchy in the Holy Scriptures. Nevertheless, it is necessary to say this, that both and every Hierarchy which we are now celebrating has one and the same power throughout the whole of its hierarchical functions, and that the Hierarch himself, according to his nature, and aptitude, and rank, is initiated in Divine things, and deified and imparts to his subordinates according to the meetness of each, the sacred deification which comes to himself from God. Likewise, that the subordinates follow the superior, but elevate the inferior towards things in advance; and that some go before, and, as far as possible, give the lead to others; and that each, as far as may be, participates in Him who is the truly Beautiful, and Wise, and Good, through this Divine and sacerdotal harmony.

But the Beings and ranks above us, of whom we have already made a reverent mention, are both incorporeal and their Hierarchy is intellectual and supermundane. But we observe that our hierarchy, conformably to our nature, abounds in a manifold variety of material symbols, from which, in proportion to our capacit, we are conducted by sacerdotal functions to the onelike deification--God and Divine Virtue. They indeed, as being minds, perceive, according to laws laid down for themselves. But we are led by sensible figures to Divine contemplations as is possible to us. And to speak truly, there is One to whom all the Godlike aspire. But they do not partake of this One and the Same in one manner, but as the Divine ordinance distributes to each a meet inheritance.... I will attempt to describe our Hierarchy, and its head and substance as best I can; invoking Jesus the Head and Perfection of all Hierarchies. Every Hierarchy, then, is, according to our august tradition, the whole descrpion of the sacred things falling under it--a most complete summary of the sacred rites of this or that Hierarchy, as the case may be. Our Hierarchy, then, is called and is the systematic account of the whole sacred rites included within it; according to which the divine Hierarch, being initiated, will have within himself the participation of the most sacred things, as chief of Hierarchy. For as he who speaks of Hierarchy speaks of the order of the whole sacred rites collectively, so he who mentions Hierarch denotes the inspired and godly man--one who understands accurately all sacred knowledge, in whom is completed and recognized, in its purity, the whole Hierarchy.

Early Medieval Phil 480-1150
By John Marenbon
A complex, metaphysical angelology was not the pseudo-Dionysius' only bequest to the Middle Ages. In two of his works, DN and the brief MT, he confronts a problem which was to trouble many a Christian thinker. How can one speak at all of a God who is beyond human understanding and description? The problem was particularly acute for the PD because, as a much more faithful NPist than Augustine, he held that God could not even be described as "being." The PD turned to the pagan NPists for helf, but the solution which he found was to a problem rather different from his. In commentaries on Plato's Parmenides, it had become the practice to apply the series of negations found in Plato's dialogue to the One (whose absolute transcendence had been stressed ever since Plotinus), and the series of positive statements to the hypostases which emanated from the One. Despite his adoption of the Neoplatonic scheme of hierarchies, the PD was a Christian, who had to accept both that God was immutable and transcendent, and yet that it was he, directly, who created and who administers the universe. He could not therefore equate God with the positively indescribable One; nor could he directly transfer every description of God to some lower emanation. Consequently, he applied both series of statements, positive and negative, to God himself. God is at once describable by every name, but only metaphorically, by reference to his manifestation of himself in his creation; and he can be described by no name--every attribute may be more truly negated of him than applied to him positively.

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