Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Clarity at last

I often wondered what they thought about who pseudo-Denys really was. Here's the answer:

"Of course, I don’t believe that the writer of The Divine Names, Mystical Theology, etc. is a Pseudo-Dionysios 5th Century writer coming from historical textual criticism from 19th century German scholars, but rather St. Paul’s actual convert in Acts as we hymn in the liturgy. That’s a seperate matter though, but it is an important one.

Photios"


http://energeticprocession.wordpress.com/2009/07/16/saint-cyril-on-divine-simplicity/


I guess he must have taught Proclus then, or else close textual parallels are purely coincidental. And yet its us latins that have been corrupted by Platonism.

23 comments:

X-Cathedra said...

Aaaaaaaamen. Apparently Proclus was wayyyyyy more Pauline than any of us thought.

Pax Christi,

Eric said...

Even if were true that the works were written by a convert of the Apostle Paul himself, I still don't understand why we would give The Divine Names and the Celestial Hierarchy any unique consideration.

Acts 17-18 makes it seem like Paul's stay in Athens was quite brief; it's certainly not beyond the realm of possibility that he convert someone and that person later become barking mad.

This becomes even more likely given Paul's track record; his epistles to the Corinthians, Galatians, etc. make it clear that Paul's converts weren't reliable purveyors of doctrine after Paul left town.

Anonymous said...

Aside from the fact that such statements can be ridiculed, they demonstrate the selective use of the results of textual criticism made by people such as Mr. Jones, who will often dismiss documents proffered by others on the grounds that they have been shown to be forgeries, or at least of doubtful authenticity... by the same critical methods! The comment you quote is thus a textbook example of special pleading. Textual criticism is certainly not infallible, but often the evidence is overwhelmingly against the original authorial attribution, as is clearly the case with Pseudo-Dionysius.

Michael said...

Eric,

surely "if were true that the works were written by a convert of the Apostle Paul himself" it would be worthy of unique consideration indeed, even if we ended up denying them any authority. It's not like documents from the Apostolic era are so common as to render big batches of them uninteresting. If pseudo-Denys' works were authentic they would be of as much import as those by Pope Clement, St Ignatius, St Irenaeus, or Origen, I would think.

Even as the product of an anonymous 5th century syriac monk surely they warrant a good deal of consideration, given their wide influence in both east and west. Not, again, that this gives them any authority per se.

Voces said...

The comment submitted by Anonymous at August 11, 2009 8:24 PM is perhaps one of the most accurate concerning our old implacable foe, Photios.

May he eventually learn his dreadful mistakes if not now, in the near future.

Better late than never.

Anonymous said...

Of course I could have said much more, with colorful phrasing to boot. The temptations of internet anonymity are great. In any case, things over there seem to have taken a different direction:

http://energeticprocession.wordpress.com/2009/08/12/the-parting-of-ways-with-musical-accompaniment/

Clearly, what Mr. Jones needs now is our prayers, not our jeers, however much he has earned them.

Voces said...

"Clearly, what Mr. Jones needs now is our prayers, not our jeers, however much he has earned them."

Prayers, perhaps; but our jeers, if anybody is more deserving, surely, it is he.

Lee Faber said...

sheesh! All that drama for a ...blog! But yes, he needs our prayers.

Anonymous said...

Prayers, perhaps; but our jeers, if anybody is more deserving, surely, it is he.

Well put. Perhaps I set up a false dichotomy there. I was thinking of the fact that ridicule would probably just make him dig in his heels all the more.

Anonymous said...

"sheesh! All that drama for a ...blog!"

I'm assuming Dr. Faber's above comment is regarding the recent post found in Anonymous' most recent link:

http://energeticprocession.wordpress.com/2009/08/12/the-parting-of-ways-with-musical-accompaniment/


If so, I must agree.

Although, I can't really fathom the degree to which the drama has been extended all throughout that post; it would almost seem (especially given not only the extent of the drama contained therein but even the explicit statement made by the author himself concerning his own professed love for Photios; namely, Daniel Jones) that that very author had some sort of homo-erotic affection for the man, which to me would seem very disturbing -- even if for an Orthodox.

Anonymous said...

it would almost seem... that that very author had some sort of homo-erotic affection for the man, which to me would seem very disturbing -- even if for an Orthodox.

Someone here is showing an alarming lack of familiarity with traditional forms of Christian discourse. This is a silly statement.

Anonymous said...

Well, the subtlety in the post, expressing such remarkably male affectionate thoughts in such paras as:

"As many readers know, Daniel and I founded this blog together after we met on Kimel’s Pontifications."

"Or at least to take a step back so we could work through this stuff together. We had helped each other work through issues before and this should be no different. We were friends and friends trust each other. I begged Daniel to trust me given our past experience together."

"Even when I disagreed with him, I let things go. I did it because he was a friend. I did it because I thought he would make progress. I did it because I loved him as a friend."

...seemed to give such a conclusion.


It didn't actually help that there were notably gay artists featured all throughout the post itself.

Although, I do acknowledge ignorance of this traditional form of discourse if ever there were one actually employed in it; it would seem completely oblivious to one such as I.

Lee Faber said...

One might say their machinations were quite...byzantine


sorry. i couldn't resist.

Anonymous said...

Well, thank God Dr. Faber & Michael never expressed their friendship in such florid terms as that!

Now, that's a friendship!

Michael said...

Goodness, having dropped the habit of looking these guys up regularly, I had no idea what was developing. Not surprised, but yikes. Drama indeed. A few comments:

1) I'm no fan of any of the Sith Lords, as they seem to enjoy imagining themselves (bizarrely enough) to be, but imputing unnatural urges to any of them seems to me slanderous and unchristian. I don't particularly like it on my blog by anonymous commenters. I say this rather than simply delete the comments because I don't like to do this hastily.

2) Speaking of anonymous commenters, does one of our regular "anonymi" comment elsewhere under the handle "aristocles"? If so and you don't want to identify yourself, fine. My suspicion is based solely on stylistic grounds, and I've been harboring it for some time.

3) Well, thank God Dr. Faber & Michael never expressed their friendship in such florid terms as that!

If things ever came to such a pass my wife would probably regret agreeing to have Mr Faber in our wedding party! But should I ever need reminding why I will never be attracted to my "friend" in "that way", I can always open our old high school yearbooks. Seriously, ouch.

4) It seems like there's a perpetual misunderstanding about our academic qualifications. In short: we don't have any. That is, neither of us have our doctorates yet. Faber is beginning his dissertation, and I'm finishing up mine. We are at two different Catholic universities. His program is in Medieval Studies, mine is in Philosophy. He also reads Descartes and Kant; I also read Chaucer and Dante. We both studied classics (and other things) as undergrads, but at different institutions. Now we both study 13th and 14th century metaphysics. We're both converts to the one true faith and are attracted to women rather than to each other. Faber once lived in my basement and I once dated his sister. Some of those memories are held more fondly than others.

There, that probably about covers it.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of anonymous commenters, does one of our regular "anonymi" comment elsewhere under the handle "aristocles"?

Well, I posted the first anonymous comment and the comment objecting to the insinuations of homoeroticism (August 12, 2009 4:04 PM), and that's it. When I use a "handle" I use my real name.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and when I wrote "traditional forms of Christian discourse," I was referring to that little-known book we call the Bible, esp. the letters of Paul, which are full of "love talk." Perhaps our other anonymous commenter would agree with those modern scholars who think that Paul was a repressed homosexual, too.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I feel stupid: I also made the comments at August 12, 2009 2:13 PM and August 12, 2009 3:40 PM. I spent more time here yesterday than I thought. Apologies for the serial commenting, since none of you could care less.

Michael said...

For what it's worth, Anonymous [Prime], it's the other Anonymous {Alpha} I had in mind.

Also: I could care less. I could care a lot less. I care. And hey, traffic is supposed to be a good thing, right?

Anonymous said...

1. Who's "aristocles"?
2. What's the significance of identifying yourselves as "converts"?
3. Why the exaggerated drama both here & there all over merely a blog?
4. Kindly identify and, even further, provide explication as to the traditional form of discourse purportedly evident in Scripture that actually capitalizes on some cryptic homoeroticism between male friends?

Thanks all.

Michael said...

All these anonymi are hard to follow. Serious contextual analysis is required just to figure out who's responding to who. What's wrong with a fake name or something, just to distinguish ourselves?

"1. Who's "aristocles"?"

The handle of a regular commenter on other blogs I read. I thought he might be the same as one of our commenters. Maybe not.

"2. What's the significance of identifying yourselves as "converts"?"

Significance? Why the scare quotes? I don't get it. Faber and I were raised Protestant, but voluntarily, under the influence of reason and grace, became Catholic. That's the significance. Or: Just as Mr Jones and Mr Robinson are [were] friends and converts to Orthodoxy, so Faber and I etc., as one member of the catalogue of similarities and dissimilarities.

"3. Why the exaggerated drama both here & there all over merely a blog?"

Is there exaggerated drama here? I thought we were all having a sardonic chuckle at the drama over there. Is that the same thing? When a pair I've been arguing with off and on as a team for a good four years has a public and histrionic dissolution, I don't call it exaggerated drama to notice it. Or what are you talking about?

"4. Kindly identify and, even further, provide explication as to the traditional form of discourse purportedly evident in Scripture that actually capitalizes on some cryptic homoeroticism between male friends?"

Something tells me you've been missing the point of all the other comments on this thread. What people are saying is that it's uncharitable to imply "some cryptic homoeroticism between male friends" even when they are wrong and silly and have been on one side of many heated exchanges. Even when they make a huge deal out of blog squabbling to a degree that I can hardly fathom.

Then I was attempting to hint at the fact that Faber and I are as far as I can tell much better friends in real life than "acolyte" and "Photios" ever were, and yet I can't imagine airing all the silly details of any grievances (were they to exist) in such a public and histrionic way.

Anyhow once everything has to be explained it does seem like a pointless waste of time.

CrimsonCatholic said...

Kindly identify and, even further, provide explication as to the traditional form of discourse purportedly evident in Scripture that actually capitalizes on some cryptic homoeroticism between male friends?

The whole point is that when you say you love someone AS A FRIEND, it doesn't imply "cryptic homoeroticism."

See, e.g., David's line in 2 Sam. 1:26: "I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant have you been to me; your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women."

Since I actually know Perry personally, I'm positive that's the way he meant it and that he would take your misinterpretation as a grave insult. Since your ignorance about the meaning of the phrase has now remedied, I believe you should apologize and retract the misinterpretation.

Anonymous said...

The whole point is that when you say you love someone AS A FRIEND, it doesn't imply "cryptic homoeroticism."

Mr. Prejean, thanks for that. I had thought the point was too obvious even to require stating; when our Homoerotic Anonymous didn't get it I just gave up. Only someone who knows nothing about Perry and is sorely lacking in Christian charity would be so intransigent in pressing such a ridiculous accusation.

--Anonymous Prime