October 3, 2020

The Basis of Theology According to St. Dionysius the Areopagite

By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos
In the teaching of Saint Dionysius the Areopagite we observe six basic points.

The first is the Thearchy, which is the beginning of theosis. 
The second point is that from the participation in the powers of God we have the Theonyms, and the most basic Theonyms are that God is Good and Beautiful. Good means progress, light that comes to us, and Beautiful means that it ignites the desire for Him.

The third point is the participation in the Theonyms, that is, the Hierarchy, which means the beginning of holiness. Participation in the Theonyms, is the sharing of the theonyms and this is the sacred order, the sacred science, the sacred energy. Thus we have the heavenly hierarchy, the ecclesiastical hierarchy, and the hierarchy in the mind of man.

The fourth is the Ceremonies, the Mysteries that are performed in the Church.

The fifth is the incarnation of Christ, which aims to quench the thirst and desire of man to live this unity with the Thearchy.

And finally, the sixth is that the world outside the Hierarchy is the world that does not participate in the Theoeideia, the shedding of light, the glory. It is the world before the incarnation of Christ.

This is the basis of the theology of all the Fathers, it is the basis of the theology of Saint Hierotheos. The Orthodox interpretation of Saint Dionysius the Areopagite was made by Saint Maximus the Confessor. Then, I consider that Saint Gregory of Palamas also has this teaching.

So, if one wants to interpret Saint Dionysios the Areopagite, they interpret it based on the interpretive comments of Saint Maximus the Confessor, the teaching of Saint Symeon the New Theologian, the teaching of Saint Gregory Palamas, and of course all the Neptic Fathers whose works are included in the Philokalia of the Holy Neptics, and I can also add the teaching of Saint Silouan the Athonite.
Source: From the book Thearchy and Hierarchy. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.