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Bibil Identifier bibil:220035
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Luther as Reader of Dionysius the Areopagite
Author Alfsvåg, Knut
Journal Studia Theologica (Volume: 65, Issue: 2)
Year (Publication) 2011
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2011
Year (Copyright) 2011
Year (Reference) 2011
Language English
Pages 101-114 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract Dionysius the Areopagite has been an important point of orientation for the debate on how humans appropriately approach God. Among his avid readers is Martin Luther, whose understanding of Dionysius is investigated in this article. Luther is a critical reader, but his criticism is founded on a basic identification with Dionysius' central tenets. His main objection is that he finds Dionysius too theoretical. For Luther, God is incessant activity; the question of approaching God correctly therefore for Luther is an existential question. This is an aspect he does not find adequately integrated in Dionysius' apophatic dialectics. Luther also found faults with Dionysius' Christology. For Luther, the experience of not being properly related to God is a terrifying experience. This can be read as a reinterpretation of Dionysius' Mystical Theology, showing both influence (Luther knew this work almost by heart) and independence. Central aspects of Luther's thought thus present themselves as a reinterpretation of Dionysian mysticism.
DOI 10.1080/0039338X.2011.628124
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Bible (as a whole) : History of Interpretation and Reception : Important Persons : Renaissance - Reformation (15th -16th cent.) : Luther, Martin
Thesaurus BiBIL : Ancient Christianity : Ancient Christian Literature : Texts and Authors (Church Fathers) : Texts and Authors : Dionysius the Areopagite
Last modification 2017-10-27