John of Scythopolis and the Dionysian corpus : annotating the Areopagite


John of Scythopolis and the Dionysian corpus : annotating the Areopagite

Paul Rorem and John C. Lamoreaux

(Oxford early Christian studies)

Clarendon Press, 1998

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Includes bibliographical references (p. [278]-286) and index



John, the sixth-century orthodox bishop of Scythopolis in Palestine, was the first of many authors to comment upon the highly influentional Pseudo-Dionysian writings (such as The Mystical Theology). Here translated and interpreted, John's Prologue and Scholia (marginalia) have only recently been separable from later comments. They present his complex theological and philosophical observations on the Dionysian texts. The book begins with the general outlines of the appearance and reception of the Dionysian corpus in the sixth century, followed by an overview of the career and works of John of Scythopolis. Written around AD 540, John's own comments in the Prologue provide the outline for introducing the concerns dominating his Scholia: biblical, classical, and patristic sources; liturgical terminology and context; orthodox and heretical doctrines of the Trinity, Christology, creation, and eschatology; Dionysian authenticity; Neoplatonism and John's unacknowledged quotations from Plotinus. Most of the Scholia and all of the Prologue are translated and annotated in order to present the first of many layers of Dionysian interpretation.

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