Dionysius the Areopagite


A few months ago you answered my questions regarding our church’s understanding of the “original sin”, and I am really thankful for your help. Now I would like to ask you how does the Orthodox Church view the writings of Dionysius the (Pseudo) Areopagite.

I’ve noticed that all catholic and protestant authors believe that the writings once attributed to Dyonisus the Areopagite were actually written by a Syrian monk who was strongly influenced by a neo-Platonist philosopher.

In the same time I’ve noticed that some Orthodox websites talk about the same writings as if they are really written by Dyonisus the Areopagite. I would really appreciate if you could explain to me what is the Orthodox position regarding this issue.


In Acts 17:34, Dionysius the Areopagite is identified as one of the few Athenians who converted to Christianity as a result of Saint Paul’s preaching on the Areopagus.

The author to whom the works of Dionysius are ascribed is most likely a Syrian living at the end of the fifth and beginning of the sixth centuries who used Dionysius the Areopagite as a pseudonym for writing Mystical Theology, the Divine Names, and other works. While his writings are highly influenced by the Neoplatonism of his time, they are also influenced by Saint Clement of Alexandria, the Cappadocian Fathers, Origen, and others.

Little else by way of biography is known of the actual Syrian who wrote under this pseudonym.