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The Fame Of Fake, Dionysius The Areopagite: Fabrication, Falsification, And The 'Cloud Of Unknowing'

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Chapter Summary

Few texts enjoyed such a varied, volatile, contradictory and long afterlife as those that were ascribed to the enigmatic author, known as Dionysius the Areopagite. In this chapter, the author argues that the question about the authors identity is part of a more complicated Rezeptionsgeschichte during a very long period, which started in the early sixth century and lasts until the present day. The convincing conclusion that the texts cannot have been written by Pauls Greek companion somehow became a handicap in understanding the wider context of the huge attention that the texts happened to attract, not least because they suggested Dionysius the Areopagite to be their author. An intriguing group of Greek texts suddenly made its appearance in the early sixth century: four treatises and ten letters. The longest text bears the title Divine Names, a short one is called Mystical Theology.

Keywords: Dionysius the Areopagite; Divine Names; early sixth century; Greek texts; Mystical Theology



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