Original Research - Special Collection: Ignatius van Wyk Dedication

’n Herlesing van Pseudo-Dionisius se metafisika

Johann Beukes
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 74, No 4 | a5111 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i4.5111 | © 2018 Johann Beukes | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 May 2018 | Published: 22 November 2018

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Johann Beukes, Department of Philosophy, University of the Free State, South Africa

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This article, by analysing, annotating en interpreting the most recent research in all relevant departments, provides a fresh and updated overview of the Neoplatonic metaphysics of Pseudo-Dionysius (ca. 500). After providing an introduction to Dionysius’ metaphysics in terms of the contributions of Middle Platonism and Neoplatonism, the article explores his broader philosophical system. A number of traits that are uniquely Dionysic-metaphysical, are eventually isolated: the interpretation of transcendence as bound to immanence; the affirmation of God’s transcendence in the world (that is, a metaphysics of ‘creation as teophany’; following E.D. Perl); the radical transcendence and simultaneous radical immanence of God (that is, God as ‘Beingness’); fundamental restrictions of language and the analogical ‘Naming’ of God; creation as a system of dialectical symbols about God; the analogical participation of the subject in creation; and unification (reditus, the ‘flowing of things back to God’). These traits are utilised to reappraise the metaphysics of Nicholas of Cusa (1401–1464) in a subsequent article.


Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite; Pseudo-Denys; palimpsest; E.D. Perl; Middle Platonism;Plotinus; Porphyreus; Porphyry


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