CFP: Neoplatonism and Dionysius the Areopagite

The 8th Conference of the International Society for Neoplatonic Studies will
be held in Madrid on June 17-20, 2010.

Along with the Conference there will be a Panel discussion entitled Dionysius the Areopagite between Orthodoxy and Heresy:
One of the most controversial characters in the history of philosophy and theology is beyond all doubt (Pseudo-) Dionysius the Areopagite. The only conclusion on which the modern scholarship agreed is that he was not the famous bishop of Athens, a pagan converted to Christianity by St. Paul.

The influence of Dionysian writings in the entire Middle Ages is astonishing, and he was considered as the highest authority, second only to Bible, since he was considered a contemporary of Apostles. Some of the main features of his doctrine, such as apophatic theology, deification, and hierarchies, greatly determined the ways of future Christian speculation.

His knowledge of the Christian tradition is proven by his good command of the notions of not only the theoretical foundations of Christianity, but also of the liturgical life and practical experience of the Church. On the other hand, the strong Neoplatonic character of his writings cannot be disregarded. Who was really Dionysius? Was he a Christian simply initiated into Neoplatonic doctrines, or was he a Neoplatonist whose intention was to cunningly introduce pagan elements into the Christian thought?

The aim of this panel is to reconsider the identity of Dionysius and his role in the formation of early Christianity. The main question would be whether he was a pagan philosopher or a Christian theologian. This question remains unresolved until today, and the panel would serve to allow participants to engage in an interaction of different opinions, which would hopefully shed some more light on the dark background of “divine Dionysius”.

Abstract for this session should be sent to Filip Ivanovic at, by 23rd February 2010.

For more information:
• Website of the Conference is
• The information about panel discussion on Dionysius as well as other
sessions can be found at
• The Call for Papers is found here

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