Advertisement

The Relation of Monks to Clergy in the Dionysian Hierarchy and Its Byzantine Reception

  • Evgenios Iverites
Chapter
Part of the New Approaches to Byzantine History and Culture book series (NABHC)

Abstract

The Corpus Dionysiacum subordinates monks to bishops (and other clergy), while assuming holiness as the norm for the latter—a position in tension with widespread views both before and after Pseudo-Dionysius. The present chapter reviews Dionysius’ teaching and examines its reception by three early Byzantine readers of his Corpus: John of Scythopolis, Antiochus of Mar Saba, and Maximus the Confessor. They addressed the tensions between monastic and episcopal authority by formulating ascetic models for clergy and appealing to developing canonical norms for church governance. In this they had both late antique precedents and medieval and modern imitators. The discussion suggests the importance, in this process of reflection, of the use of images, both painted and literary, as symbols that articulate synthesis without obviating tensions.

Keywords

Hierarchy Liturgy Iconography Epistles of Maximus Confessor Monk-bishop 

Bibliography

Primary Sources

  1. Basil of Caesarea, Lettres, Y. Courtonne (ed.), 3 vols., (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1957).Google Scholar
  2. Gregory of Nazianzus, Orations: Grégoire de Nazianze. Discours 1–3, J. Bernardi (ed.), SC 247 (Paris: Cerf, 1978).Google Scholar
  3. John of Scythopolis, Annotating the Areopagite [= Eng. trans. of the Scholia], P. Rorem and J. Lamoreaux (trans.), (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998).Google Scholar
  4. John of Scythopolis, Scholia: Ioannis Scythopolitanus, Scholia in opera S. Dionysii, B. Cordier (ed.), PG 4, 29A–576B.Google Scholar
  5. Maximus the Confessor, Centuries on Love: Massimo Confessore. Capitoli sulla Charità, A. Ceresa-Gastaldo (ed.), (Rome: Editrice Studium, 1963); Engl. trans. in St. Maximus the Confessor. The Ascetic Life, The Four Centuries on Charity, P. Sherwood (trans.), Ancient Christian Writers 21 (Westminster, MD: Newman Press, 1955).Google Scholar
  6. Maximus the Confessor, Epistles, PG 91:363–650; French trans. in Maxime le Confesseur, Lettres, E. Ponsoye (trans.), (Paris: Cerf, 1998a).Google Scholar
  7. Maximus the Confessor, Minor Theological and Polemical Works, PG 91:9–286; French trans. in Maxime le Confesseur, Opuscules théologiques et polémiques, E. Ponsoye (trans.), (Paris: Cerf, 1998b).Google Scholar
  8. Maximus the Confessor, Mystagogy: Maximus Confessor, Mystagogia, Ch. Boudignon (ed.), CCSG 69 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011).Google Scholar
  9. Maximus the Confessor, Responses to Thalassius: Maximus Confessor, Quaestiones ad Thalassium, C. Laga and C. Steel (eds.), 2 vols., CCSG 7 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1980–1990).Google Scholar
  10. Nilus of Ancyra, Epistles, PG 79:81–581.Google Scholar
  11. Pseudo-Dionysius, Corpus Dionysiacum: S. Dionysii Areopagitae Opera Omnia, B. Cordier (ed.), PG 3; Corpus Dionysiacum I, B.R. Suchla (ed.), PTS 33 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1990); Corpus Dionysiacum II, G. Heil and A. M. Ritter (eds.), PTS 36 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1991, 20122); Pseudo-Dionysius, The Complete Works, C. Luibheid and P. Rorem (trans.) (New York, Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1987); Dionigi Areopagita, Tutte le Opere. Gerarchia Celeste – Gerarchia Ecclesiastica – Nomi Divini – Teologia Mistica – Lettere, Italian trans. P. Scazzoso, ed. E. Bellini (trans.), I Classici del Pensiero, sez. I, Filosofia Classica e Tardo Antica (Milan: Rusconi, 1981). 2nd ed., I. Ramelli (revision), Il pensiero occidentale (Milan: Bompiani, 2009).Google Scholar
  12. Pseudo-Dionysius. The Complete Works, C. Luibheid and P. Rorem (trans.) (New York, Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1987).Google Scholar

Secondary Literature

  1. Ahl, 1984: F. Ahl, ‘The Art of Safe Criticism in Greece and Rome’, American Journal of Philology, 105 (1984), 174–208.Google Scholar
  2. Bacht, 1953: H. Bacht, ‘Die Rolle des orientalischen Mönchtums in den kirchenpolitischen Auseinandersetzungen um Chalkedon (431–519)’ in A. Grillmeier and H. Bacht (eds.), Das Konzil von Chalkedon, vol. 2 (Würzburg: Echter-Verlag, 1953), 193–314.Google Scholar
  3. Baynes, 1955: N.H. Baynes, ‘The Thought-World of East Rome’ in Byzantine Studies and Other Essays (Westport, CN: Greenwood Press, 1955 [original lecture 1947]), 25–35.Google Scholar
  4. Binggeli, 2014: A. Binggeli, ‘Collections of Edifying Stories’ in S. Efthymiadis (ed.), The Ashgate Research Companion to Byzantine Hagiography, 2 vol. (Farnham, Surrey, UK: Ashgate, 2014), 143–59.Google Scholar
  5. Birkner, 2017: Ch. Birkner, ‘Kirche und Kellion: Zum Verständnis von „Kirche“ bei Kyrill von Skythopolis’ in P. Gemeinhardt (ed.), Was ist Kirche in der Spätantike. Publikation der Tagung des Patristischen Arbeitsgemeinschaft in Duderstadt und Göttingen (02.–05.01.2015) (Leuven: Peeters, 2017), 163–76.Google Scholar
  6. Bitton-Ashkelony, 2010: B. Bitton-Ashkelony, ‘Territory, Anti-Intellectual Attitude, and Identity Formation in Late Antique Palestinian Monastic Communities’, Religion & Theology, 17 (2010), 244–67.Google Scholar
  7. Blowers, 2016: P.M. Blowers, Maximus the Confessor: Jesus Christ and the Transfiguration of the World, Christian Theology in Context (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016).Google Scholar
  8. Booth, 2014: P. Booth, Crisis of Empire. Doctrine and Dissent at the End of Late Antiquity (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2014).Google Scholar
  9. Booth and Jankowiak 2015: Ph. Booth and M. Jankowiak, ‘A New Date-List of the Works of Maximus the Confessor’ in P. Allen and B. Neil (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Maximus the Confessor (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 19–83.Google Scholar
  10. Brown, 1971: P. Brown, ‘The Rise and Function of the Holy Man in Late Antiquity’, Journal of Roman Studies, 61 (1971), 80–101.Google Scholar
  11. Brown, 1983: P. Brown, ‘The Saint as Exemplar in Late Antiquity’, Representations, 2 (1983), 1–25.Google Scholar
  12. Brown, 1994: P. Brown, Power and Persuasion in Late Antiquity. Towards a Christian Empire (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1992).Google Scholar
  13. Brown, 1995: P. Brown, ‘Arbiters of the Holy: The Christian Holy Man in Late Antiquity’ in Authority and the Sacred: Aspects of the Christianization of the Roman World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 55–78.Google Scholar
  14. Constas, 2017: M. Constas, ‘Maximus the Confessor, Dionysius the Areopagite, and the Transformation of Christian Neoplatonism’, Analogia, 3 (2017), 1–12.Google Scholar
  15. Cooper: 2001: A.G. Cooper, ‘St. Maximus the Confessor on Priesthood, Hierarchy, and Rome’, Pro Ecclesia, 10:3 (2001), 346–67.Google Scholar
  16. Dagron, 2003: G. Dagron, Emperor and Priest: The Imperial Office in Byzantium, J. Birrell (trans.), Past and Present Publications (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003 [orig. French ed., 1996]).Google Scholar
  17. de Andia, 2015: Y. de Andia, ‘Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite and Maximus the Confessor’ in P. Allen and B. Neil (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Maximus the Confessor (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 177–93.Google Scholar
  18. Déroche, 2002: V. Déroche, ‘Représentations de l’Eucharistie dans la haute époque byzantine’, Travaux et Mémoires, 14 (2002), 167–80.Google Scholar
  19. Djurić, 1991: V.J. Djurić, ‘Les docteurs de l’Église’ in E. Kypraiou et al. (eds.), ΕΥΦΡΟΣΥΝΟΝ. Αφιέρωμα στον Μανώλη Χατζιδάκη (Athens: Treasury for Archaeological Resources and Expropriations, 1991), vol. I: 129–35.Google Scholar
  20. Efthymiadis, 2012: S. Efthymiadis, ‘The Place of Holy and Unholy bishops in Byzantine Hagiographic Narrative (Eighth–Twelfth centuries),’ in J. Ott and T. Vedriš (eds.), Saintly Bishops and Bishops’ Saints: Proceedings of the 3rd Hagiography Conference organized by Croatian Hagiography Society ‘Hagiotheca’ and International Hagiography Society, Poreč, 27–30 May 2010 (Zagreb: Hagiotheca, 2012), 169–82.Google Scholar
  21. Escolan, 1999: P. Escolan, Monachisme et église. Le monachisme syrien du IVe au VIIe siècle: un ministère charismatique, Théologie historique 109 (Paris: Beauchesne, 1999).Google Scholar
  22. Feißt, Ruge, and Wiertz 1981: W.O. Feißt, D. Ruge, and P. Wiertz (producers), A Thousand Years Seem Like Just One Day: Monks from Athos, the Holy Mountain (Baden-Baden: Südwestfunk, 1981), available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5Dhj70awpU. Accessed October 9, 2018.
  23. Florovsky, 1957: G. Florovsky, ‘Empire and Desert: Antinomies of Christian History’, The Greek Orthodox Theological Review, 3:2 (Winter 1957), 133–59.Google Scholar
  24. Florovsky, 1987: G. Florovsky, The Byzantine Ascetic and Spiritual Fathers (Belmont, MA: Nordland, 1987).Google Scholar
  25. Golitzin, 1994: A. Golitzin, Et introibo ad altare Dei. The Mystagogy of Dionysius Areopagita with Special Reference to Its Predecessors in the Eastern Christian Tradition, Analecta Vlatadon 59 (Thessalonike: Patriarchikon Hidryma Paterikon Meleton, 1994).Google Scholar
  26. Golitzin, 1999: A. Golitzin, ‘A Contemplative and a Liturgist: Father Georges Florovsky on the Corpus Dionysiacum’, SVThQ, 43 (1999), 131–61.Google Scholar
  27. Golitzin, 2007: A. Golitzin, ‘The Body of Christ: Saint Symeon the New Theologian on Spiritual Life and the Hierarchical Church’ in B. Lourié and A. Orlov (eds.), The Theophaneia School: Jewish Roots of Eastern Christian Mysticism (Saint Petersburg: Byzantinorossica, 2007) = Scrinium 3 (2007), 106–27.Google Scholar
  28. Golitzin, 2013: A. Golitzin, Mystagogy: A Monastic Reading of Dionysius Areopagita, B.G. Bucur (ed.), Cistercian Studies 250 (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2013).Google Scholar
  29. Griffith, 1993: S.H. Griffith, ‘Monks, «Singles», and the «Sons of the Covenant». Reflections on Syriac ascetic terminology’ in E. Carr et al. (eds.), ΕΥΛΟΓΗΜΑ: Studies in Honor of Robert Taft, S.J., Studia Anselmiana 110 (Rome: Pontificio Ateneo S. Anselmo, 1993), 141–60.Google Scholar
  30. Guillaumont, 1979: A. Guillaumont, ‘Esquisse d’une phenomenologie du monachisme’ in Aux origines du monachisme chrétien: pour une phénoménologie du monachisme (Bégrolles en Mauges: Abbaye de Bellefontaine, 1979), 228–39.Google Scholar
  31. Hadot, 1995: P. Hadot, Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault, M. Chase (trans.) (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995).Google Scholar
  32. Hartmann and Pennington, 2012: W. Hartmann and K. Pennington (eds.), The History of Byzantine and Eastern Canon Law to 1500 (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America, 2012).Google Scholar
  33. Hathaway, 1969: R.F. Hathaway, Hierarchy and the Definition of Order in the Letters of Pseudo-Dionysius: A Study in the Form and Meaning of the Pseudo-Dionysian Writings (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1969).Google Scholar
  34. Holl, 1898: K. Holl, Enthusiasmus und Bussgewalt beim griechischen Mönchtum: Eine Studie zu Symeon dem Neuen Theologen (Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichsische Buchhandlung, 1898).Google Scholar
  35. Kitchen, 2011: R.A. Kitchen, ‘Bnay Qyama, Bnat Qyama’ in The Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of Syriac Heritage (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2011), 84–85.Google Scholar
  36. Koutloumousianos, 2018: C. Koutloumousianos, Ένας και Τρείς. Η Τριαδική Μοναρχία στην Ορθόδοξη Παράδοση (Athos: Koutloumousiou, 2018).Google Scholar
  37. Lampe, 1961: G.W.H. Lampe, A Patristic Greek Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1961).Google Scholar
  38. Loudovikos, 2016: N. Loudovikos, Church in the Making: An Apophatic Ecclesiology of Consubstantiality (Yonkers: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2016).Google Scholar
  39. Louth, 1989: A. Louth, Denys the Areopagite (London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1989).Google Scholar
  40. Louth, 1993: A. Louth, ‘St Dionysius the Areopagite and St Maximus the Confessor: A Question of Influence’ in E.A. Livingstone (ed.), Cappadocian Fathers, Greek Authors after Nicaea, Augustine, Donatism, and Pelagianism. Papers Presented at the Eleventh International Conference on Patristic Studies Held in Oxford 1991, StP 27 (Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 1993), 166–74.Google Scholar
  41. Louth, 2008a: A. Louth, ‘The Reception of Dionysius up to Maximus the Confessor’, Modern Theology, 24.4 (2008a), 573–83.Google Scholar
  42. Louth, 2008b: A. Louth, ‘The Reception of Dionysius in the Byzantine World: Maximus to Palamas’, Modern Theology, 24.4 (2008b), 585–99.Google Scholar
  43. Louth, 2013: A. Louth, ‘Constructing the Apostolic Past: The Case of Dionysius the Areopagite’, Studies in Church History, 49 (2013), 42–51.Google Scholar
  44. Mainoldi, 2018: E.S. Mainoldi, Dietro ‘Dionigi l’Areopagita’. La genesi e gli scopi del Corpus Dionysiacum, Institutiones 6 (Roma: Città Nuova, 2018).Google Scholar
  45. Meyendorff, 1969: J. Meyendorff, Christ in Eastern Christian Thought (Washington, DC: Corpus, 1969).Google Scholar
  46. Nikolaou, 1983: Th. Nikolaou, ‘Zur Identität des ΜΑΚΑΡΙΟΣ ΓΕΡΩΝ in der Mystagogia von Maximus dem Bekenner’, Orientalia Christiana Periodica, 49:2 (1983), 407–18.Google Scholar
  47. Papadogiannakis, 2016: Y. Papadogiannakis, ‘An Education through Gnomic Wisdom: The Pandect of Antiochus of Mar Saba as Bibliotheksersatz’ in P. Gemeinhardt, L. Van Hoof, and P. Van Nuffelen (eds.), Education and Religion in Late Antique Christianity: Reflections, Social Contexts and Genres (London and New York: Routledge, 2016), 61–72.Google Scholar
  48. Patrich, 1995: J. Patrich, Sabas, Leader of Palestinian Monasticism: A Comparative Study in Eastern Monasticism, Fourth to Seventh Centuries (Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 1995).Google Scholar
  49. Perl, 1994: E. Perl, ‘Symbol, Sacrament, and Hierarchy in Saint Dionysios the Areopagite’, The Greek Orthodox Theological Review, 39:3–4 (1994), 311–56.Google Scholar
  50. Pernot, 1993: L. Pernot, La Rhétorique de l’éloge dans le monde gréco-romain. Tome II: Les valeurs (Paris: Institut d’études augustiniennes, 1993).Google Scholar
  51. Popović, 1998: S. Popović, ‘The “Trapeza” in Cenobitic Monasteries: Architectural and Spiritual Contexts’, DOP, 52 (1998), 281–303.Google Scholar
  52. Popovski, 1989: J. Popovski, Die Pandekten Des Antiochus Monachus. Slavische Übersetzung Und Überlieferung (PhD Thesis, Universiteit van Amsterdam, 1989).Google Scholar
  53. Portaru, 2013: M. Portaru, ‘Gradual Participation According to St Maximus the Confessor’, SP, 68 (2013), 281–93.Google Scholar
  54. Rapp, 2005: C. Rapp, Holy Bishops in Late Antiquity: The Nature of Christian Leadership in an Age of Transition (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2005).Google Scholar
  55. Rayez, 1957: A. Rayez et al., ‘Denys l’Aréopagite (Le Pseudo-)’ in Dictionnaire de spiritualité, 17 vols. (Paris: Beauchesne, [1937–1995] 1957), vol. III: 244–429.Google Scholar
  56. Romanides, 1963–1964: J. Romanides, ‘Notes on the Palamite Controversy and Related Topics’, The Greek Orthodox Theological Review, 9.2 (1963–1964), 225–70.Google Scholar
  57. Roques, 1954: R. Roques, L’univers dionysien. Structure hiérarchique du monde selon le Pseudo-Denys, Théologie 29 (Paris: Aubier, 1954).Google Scholar
  58. Roques, 1961: R. Roques, ‘Éléments pour une théologie de l’état monastique selon Denys l’Aréopagite’ in Théologie de la vie monastique. Études sur la tradition patristique (Paris: Aubier, 1961), 283–314.Google Scholar
  59. Rorem, 1984: P. Rorem, Biblical and Liturgical Symbols Within the Pseudo-Dionysian Synthesis (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1984).Google Scholar
  60. Rorem, 1993: P. Rorem, Pseudo-Dionysius: A Commentary on the Text and an Introduction to Their Influence (Oxford University Press, 1993).Google Scholar
  61. Sherwood, 1952: P. Sherwood, An Annotated Date-List of the Works of Maximus the Confessor (Herder: Rome, 1952).Google Scholar
  62. Stang, 2012: C.M. Stang, Apophasis and Pseudonymity in Dionysius the Areopagite: ‘No Longer I’ (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).Google Scholar
  63. Sterk, 2004: A. Sterk, Renouncing the World Yet Leading the Church: The Monk-Bishop in Late Antiquity (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004).Google Scholar
  64. Suchla, 1990: B.R. Suchla, (ed.), Corpus Dionysiacum, vol. 1: Pseudo-Dionysius Areopagita, De divinis nominibus (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1990).Google Scholar
  65. Suchla, 2011: B.R. Suchla, (ed.), Ioannis Scythopolitani prologus et scholia in Dionysii Areopagitae librum De divinis nominibus cum additamentis interpretum aliorum, in Corpus Dionysiacum IV/1, PTS 62 (Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2011).Google Scholar
  66. Thunberg, 1965: L. Thunberg, Microcosm and Mediator. The Theological Anthropology of Maximus the Confessor (Lund: Håkan Ohlssons Boktryckeri, 1965).Google Scholar
  67. van den Daele, 1941: A. van den Daele, Indices Pseudo-Dionysiani (Louvain: Bibliothèque de l’Université, 1941).Google Scholar
  68. Van Deun, 2015: P. Van Deun, ‘Maximus the Confessor’s Use of Literary Genres’ in P. Allen and B. Neil (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Maximus the Confessor (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 274–86.Google Scholar
  69. von Balthasar, 1940: H.U. von Balthasar, ‘Das Scholienwerk des Johannes von Scythopolis’, Scholastik 15 (1940), 16–38.Google Scholar
  70. von Balthasar, 2003: H.U. von Balthasar, Cosmic Liturgy: The Universe According to Maximus the Confessor, B.E. Daley (trans.), (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2003 [original German 1941]).Google Scholar
  71. von Balthasar, 2006: H.U. von Balthasar, The Glory of the Lord: A Theological Aesthetics, 2 vols., F. McDonagh, B. McNeil and A. Louth (trans.) (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006 [original German ed., 1962]).Google Scholar
  72. Vööbus, 1960: A. Vööbus, History of Asceticism in the Syrian Orient: A Contribution to the History of Culture in the Near East, 2 vols., CSCO 197 (Louvain, 1960).Google Scholar
  73. Wagschal, 2015: D. Wagschal, Law and Legality in the Greek East: The Byzantine Canonical Tradition, 381–883 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).Google Scholar
  74. Wesche, 1989: K.P. Wesche, ‘Christological Doctrine and Liturgical Interpretation in Pseudo-Dionysius’, SVThQ, 33 (1989), 53–73.Google Scholar
  75. Whitby, 1998: M. Whitby (ed.), The Propaganda of Power: The Role of Panegyric in Late Antiquity (Leiden: Brill, 1998).Google Scholar
  76. Yiannias, 1991: J.J. Yiannias, ‘The Refectory Paintings of Mount Athos: An Interpretation’ in J.J. Yiannias (ed.), The Byzantine Tradition After the Fall of Constantinople (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1991), 269–309.Google Scholar
  77. Zoukova, 2010: E. Zoukova, Γέννηση και εξέλιξη της ακολουθίας του μοναχικού σχήματος κατά τους Δ´–Ζ´ αιώνες βάσει αγιολογικών πηγών (Athens: Eptalofos, 2010).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evgenios Iverites
    • 1
  1. 1.Iveron MonasteryMount AthosGreece

Personalised recommendations