Fr. Ted's Reviews > Dionysius the Areopagite; The Divine Names; And the Mystical Theology

Dionysius the Areopagite; The Divine Names; And the Mystical ... by C. E. Rolt
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it was ok

The intro to the book says Dionysius shows that contemplation and philosophy are proper paths for Christians to follow, even though they are not paths for everyone. I certainly am one of those who does not this kind of thinking attractive. I never really studied philosophy, but I can see in early Christian history that for Christianity to gain traction in the Roman Empire it had to show it could run with philosophers and even best them. As Rolt notes in his intro, if Christianity had denied that contemplation and philosophy were compatible with Christianity, many who embraced Christianity would have sought them outside the Church. "Dionysius" does a pretty phenomenal job of locating the many names ascribed to God (such as "God is my helper and defender" My helpmate, etc) and attempts to form them into a philosophically consistent understanding of God. The whole enterprise makes me yawn and shrug. The enterprise is based in philosophical ideas about perfection and oneness - there are numbers or shapes which are "perfect". But none of that speaks to me, so "Dionysius" pursues ideas for which I have little interest. Those folk have to struggle with the existence of a year which is not a perfect number of days, and orbits which are not perfect circles and other imperfections in the universe which just mess up their ideas of the perfect God. Trying to show God is as perfect as philosophers imagined perfection is of no interest to me, because there is a living God whom we experience who so often defies our ideas of perfection and logic.
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Reading Progress

September 22, 2019 – Started Reading
September 22, 2019 – Shelved
September 22, 2019 – Finished Reading

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