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

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


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.


Hierarchy Liturgy Iconography Epistles of Maximus Confessor Monk-bishop 


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Authors and Affiliations

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

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