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G. P. Klubertanz, Thomas Aquinas, st. “in librum beati dionysii de divinis nominibus” – PhilPapers
For even in a monad, every number preexists in the form of a unit, and the monad holds every number in itself singly. But, if the Philosopher Clemens thinks good, that the higher amongst beings should be called 82 exemplars in relation to something, his statement advances, not through correct and perfect and simple names.
But neither is the Evil in Angels; for if the good-like angel proclaims the goodness of God, being by participation in a secondary degree that which the Announced is in the first degree as Cause, the Angel is a likeness of Almighty Goda manifestation of the unmanifested lighta mirror untarnishedmost transparentwithout flawpurewithout spot 61 receiving, if I may so speak, the full beauty of the Good-stamped likeness of Godand without stain, shedding forth undefiledly in itself, so far as is possible, the goodness of the Silence, which dwells in innermost shrines.
And when the common conductor of ourselves, and of our leader to the Divine gift of light,he, who is great in Divine mysteriesthe light of the worldhad thought out this in a manner above natural ability,he speaks as follows, from the inspiration of God, in his sacred writings”For, even if there are who are called gods, whether in heaven or upon earth, as there are gods many and lords many; but to us there is One God, the Father, from Whom are all things, and we unto Him,and One Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom are all things, and we, through Him For, with regard to all created things, by dividing them into participations and participants, we call beautiful that which participates in Beauty; but beauty, the participation of the beautifying Cause of all the beautiful things.
Concerning this then, as has been said, the super-essential and hidden Deity, it is not permitted to speak or even to think beyond the things divinely revealed to us in the sacred Oracles. But if matter, being without these, by itself is without quality and without form, how does matter produce anythingmatter, which, by itself, is impassive?
I nomi divini = De divinis nominibus
This then is sufficient on these matters, let us now advance to the purpose of the discourse by unfolding, to the best of our ability, the kindred and common Names of the Divine distinction. Let us then elevate our very selves by our prayers to the higher ascent of the Divine and good rays,as if a luminous chain being suspended from the celestial heights, 28 and reaching down hither, we, by ever clutching this nominibuss, first with one hand, and then with the other, seem indeed to draw it down, but in reality we do not draw it nominobus, it being both above and below, but ourselves are carried upwards to the higher splendours of the luminous rays.
But, since in fact, he, whilst teaching dee divine, in a manner suitable to presbyters, set forth comprehensive definitions, and such as embraced many things in one, as were suitable to us, and to as many as with us were teachers of the newly-initiated souls, commanding us to unfold and disentangle, by language commensurate with our ability, the comprehensive and uniform compositions of the most intellectual capacity of that illustrious man; and you, yourself, have oftentimes urged us to this, and sent back the very book, as being of transcendent value; for this reason, then, we too distinguish him as a teacher of perfect and presbyterial conceptions for those who are above the common people, even as certain second Oracles, and next to the Anointed of God.
For It is Source of things existing, from which are both being itself, and all things however being; every source, every term, every life, every immortality, every wisdom, every order, every harmony, every power, every protection, every stability, every endurance, every conception, every word, every sensible perception, every habit, every standing, every movement, nomnibus union, every mingling, every friendship, every agreement, every difference, every limit, and whatever other things existing by being, characterize all things being.
It is to be laid down that being belongs to the Evil as an accident and by reason of something else, and not from its own origin, and thus that that which comes into being appears to be right, because it comes into being for the sake of the Divinie, but that in reality it is not right for the reason that we think that which is not good to be good.
From Him, Who is, is age, and essence, and being, and time, and birth, and thing born; the realities 76 in things that be, and things howsoever existing and subsisting. Yet, things which partake of greater gifts from God, must needs be 75 better and superior to the rest. Further, it may be boldly said with truth, that even the very Author divimis all things, divinix reason of overflowing Goodness, loves all, makes all, perfects all, sustains all, attracts all; and diviins the Divine Love is Good of Good, by reason of the Good.
Now, we have elsewhere sufficiently spoken of these things, and they have been celebrated by our illustrious leader, in his Theological Elements, in a manner far beyond natural abilitythings which that illustrious man acquired, either from the sacred theologians, or comprehended from the scientific, search of the Oracles, from manifold struggles and divihis respecting the same, or was instructed from a sort of more Divine Inspiration, not only having learnt, but having felt the pangs of things Divine, and from his sympathy with them, if I may so speak, having been fivinis to their untaught and mystic union and acceptance.
And “the beautiful and the wise” are also sung respecting the whole Deity. And you will find many of the Theologians, who have celebrated It, not only as invisible and incomprehensible, but also as inscrutable and un-traceable, since there is no trace of those who have penetrated to Its hidden infinitude.
Hence, as Providence is conservative of the nature of each, it provides for 71 the free, as free; and for the whole, and individuals, according to the wants of all and each, as far as the nature of those provided for admits the providential benefits of its universal and manifold Providence, distributed ‘proportionably to each.
For good are all things born of this. As also, the rational creatures nominigus those of sensible perception, by their superiority in the abundance of reason, and these, by their sensible perception, and others, by their life. Further also, it contributes to the generation of sensible bodies, and moves them to life, and nokinibus, and increases, and perfects, and purifies and renews; and the light is both measure and number of hours, days, and all our time.
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So far as they are, they are both from the Good, and are good, and aspire to the Beautiful and the Good, by aspiring to the realities, Being, and Life, and Thought; and by the privation and departure and declension from the good things befitting them, they are called evil, and are evil as regards what they are not: In this sense, they call Him esteemed and loved, as Beautiful and Good: To a demon, evil is to be contrary to the good-like mindto a soul, to be contrary to reasonto a body, to be contrary to nature.
Since we have arranged the many loves from the one, by telling, in due order, what are the 51 kinds of knowledge and powers of the mundane and super-mundane loves; over which, according to the defined purpose of the discourse, the orders and ranks of the mental and intelligible loves preside; next after 27 which are placed the self-existent intelligible and divine, over the really beautiful loves there which have been appropriately celebrated by us; now, on the other hand, by restoring all back to the One and enfolded Love, and Father of them all, let us collect and gather them together from the many, by contracting It into two Powers entirely lovable, over which rules and precedes altogether the Cause, resistless from Its universal Love beyond all, and to which is elevated, according to the nature of each severally, the whole love from all existing things.
Now, if the things existing desire the Beautiful and Good, and whatever they do, they do for the sake of that which seems good, and every purpose of things existing has the Good for its beginning and end for nothing looking to the Evil qua evil, does what it doeshow shall the Evil be in things existing; or, wholly being, how has it been seduced from such a good yearning? Andereggen – – Sapientia 44 Summing up, then, let us say, that the being to all beings and to the ages, is from the Preexisting.
Or to take another example, if any one standing on the ship pushes away the rock by the sea shore, he will do nothing to the stationary and unmoved rock, but he separates himself from it, and in proportion as he pushes that away, he is so far hurled from it.
For even with regard to other living creatures, not the possession of these, but the loss, is both destruction to the creature, and an evil.
By reason of these rays subsisted all the intelligible and intelligent essences and powers and energies. For, 31 if I do not forget myself, many a time do I remember to have heard from thee certain portions of those inspired songs of praise; such was thy zeal, not cursorily, to pursue things Divine. For, even with regard to the other conditions, such as heat or cold, there are things which have been heated, and when the heat has departed from them, many of them are deprived both of life and intelligence now Almighty God is outside essence, and is, superessentiallynominibu, in 57 one nomunibus, with regard to the rest, even when the condition has departed, or has not become completely developed, things exist, and are able to subsist; but that which is every mominibus deprived of the Good, in no way or manner ever was, or is, or will be, nor is able to be.
Pseudo-Dionysius Areopagita. De Divinis Nominibus
But their evil is from the declension from their own proper goods, and a changethe weakness, as regards their identity and condition, of the angelic perfection befitting them. Or, is it from the good Cause creative of the whole universe? For, if the Good is both an actual thing and an object of desire, and powerful and effective, how will the contrary to the Good,that which has been deprived of essence, and intention, and power, and energy,be capable of anything?
But, if the Evil is eternal, and creates, and has power, and is, and does, whence do these come to it? But neither is the Evil in things existing.
Klubertanz – – Modern Schoolman 28 4: For to destroy nature is not a function of Providence. But, neither are the demons evil by nature; for, if they are evil by nature, neither are they from the Good, nor amongst things existing; nor, in fact, did they change from good, being by nature, and always, evil. But by punishing sinners are they evil? For, It is not in a place, so that It should be absent from a particular place, or should pass from one to another.
Naturally, then, more chiefly than all the rest, Almighty God is celebrated as Being, from the prior of His other gifts; for pre-possessing even pre-existence, and super-existence, and super-possessing being, He pre-established all being, I mean self-existent being; and subjected everything, howsoever existing, to Being Itself.