School of Theology and Seminary Graduate Papers/Theses

Date of Award

Winter 12-19-2017

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Theology (Th.M)


School of Theology and Seminary

First Advisor

Charles Bobertz

Second Advisor

Shawn Colberg

Subject Categories

Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite was an anonymous theologian who likely lived in Syria around the sixth century CE. He is primarily known for his advancements in the field of apophatic, or negative, theology. However, far from being against positive statements about God, Dionysius viewed them as necessary springboards for the worship of a God that is beyond word or concept. The structure of the Dionysian method for doing theology allows for the avoidance of idolatry as well as for sidestepping the charge of onto-theology in Christian God-talk. Thomas Aquinas and Hans Urs von Balthasar are theologians that each appropriated the Dionysian method and therefore displayed its usefulness in doing theology well.



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