Both Ephialtes and Pericles abridged the power of the Areopagites
, the latter of whom introduced the method of paying those who attended the courts of justice: and thus every one who aimed at being popular proceeded increasing the power of the people to what we now see it.
John was influenced heavily by the 6th-century mystic and philosopher Dionysius, the Areopagite
who also studied the esoteric traditions of alchemy, Hermeticism, Kabbalah and other mystery schools that also describe the dark night as the alchemical transformation of spiritual forces.
Its interesting and profound analysis can be found in the work by the modern Greek philosopher and theologian Christos Yannaras titled On the Absence and Unknowability of God: Heidegger and the Areopagite
. According to Yannaras, Eastern Christianity is characterized by apophaticism of personality, not that of the essence (Aristotelianism).
I will focus on the antecedent thought of Gregory of Nyssa (fourth century) and Dionysius the Areopagite
(an author of the fifth or sixth century not to be confused with the eponymous associate of St.
The final chapter examines the view of Dionysius the Areopagite
and of John Chrysostom that reason breaks down when confronted with the overwhelming mystery of God, a view also found in various existentialist writers such as Martin Buber and Gabriel Marcel (whom Wainwright does not mention).
Among their topics are the daimon and the choice of life in Plotinus' thought, demons and angels in the Chaldaean Oracles, daimones in Porphyry's On the Cave of the Nymphs, evil demons in De Mysteriis: assessing the Iamblichean critique of Porphyry's demonology, the angels in Proclus: messengers of the gods, and Dionysius the Areopagite
on angels: self-constitution versus constituting gifts.
(4) See for example the work of Christos Yannaras (On the Absence and Unknowability of Cod: Heidegger and the Areopagite
), John Zizioulas (Being as Communion), or Nikos Nissiotis (Existentialism and Christian Faith).
The idea about the Great Chain was adopted by the church in the age of Enlightenment directly from Plotinus via Origen and Pseudo-Dionysus the Areopagite
; it was embraced also by numerous other authors like Addison, Pope, Thomson, Akenside, Buffon, Goldsmith, Diderot, Kant, Herder, Schiller, etc.
(9) MOCT here refers to Dionvsius the Areopagite
, De divinis nominibus 11:5.
It also seems to have led to his being given access to the work of St Denis the Areopagite
and other classical authors:
The first chapter of De divinis nominibus of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite
(58) A few conversions are mentioned: Dionysius the Areopagite
and a woman called Damaris, and others (Acts 17.34).