Stephen bar Sudaili, the Syrian mystic, and the book of Hierotheos

Frothingham F. Stephen bar Sudaili, the Syrian mystic, and the book of Hierotheos. -1886

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2 I. THE WRITINGS OF PSEUDO-DIONYSIOS. After the epoch of S. Ephraem (t 373) we do not hear
of any prominent movement in the mystical school of Syria
until the last years of the fifth century or the first of the
succeeding, when there suddenly appeared a body of writings
purporting to be by Dionysios the Areopagite, the convert of
Saint Paul *). It has been for some time generally recog¬
nized that they were the work of this period *), and, in all
probability, written by some follower of Proclus s), who may
have been a Syrian monk *); a theory supported by the fact
that, although eagerly received and studied by the whole
East, these writings were brought forward and most power¬
fully supported by the Syrians. All mystics recognized these
works to be the production of a master-mind, worthy of
becoming their guide in pantheistic speculation. The extent
to which they were used can be appreciated on consulting
Syriac mss., where Dionysios is adduced as authority in most
controversial writings, especially by the Monophysites. But it was not only the mystical schools and the Eastern 1 2 3 41) S. Dionysii Areopagitae Opera omnia stud, et op. Balth. Corderii:
Migne, Patr. Graecae T. Ill and IV. Darboy (l’abbd), (Euvres de Saint
Denis 1’Areopagite. Paris 1845. Cf. J. Dulac, (Euvres de Saint Denis 1*Areopagite. Paris 1865. 2) Gieseler, A text-book of Church history, New-York 1857, vol. I, p. 468.
Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol. Ill, p. 604. Baur, Ge-
schichte der Kirche, T. II, p. 59—65. GfrOrer, Allgemeine Kirchenge-
schichte, 1840. II Buch. p. 902. Doraer, Doctrine of the person of
Christ: Div. II, vol. I, p. 157 and 422. etc. etc. 3) Engelhardt, Baur, GfrOrer, Schaff, etc. Dorner connects him with
the Monophysites. 4) GfrOrer, ibid. p. 912. Gieseler, ibid, considers him to have flour¬
ished in Egypt and to coincide with Cyrill in the doctrine of the person
of Christ!! Westcott (Contemp. Review, May 1867) thinks that the
Pseudo-Dionysian writings «were composed A.D. 480—520, either at Edessa
or under the influence of the Edessa School’1. This judgment is founded
on the relation to Bar Sudaili.