Biblical and liturgical symbols within the pseudo-Dionysian by Paul Rorem

By Paul Rorem

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These biblical topics are presented neither randomly nor canonically, but in a subtle arrangement which, it will be argued, includes the author's liturgical concerns. Accordingly, the treatises which concern these scriptural and liturgical subjects are also arranged in an overall pattern, as partially indicated in The Mystical Theology. This brief but crucial treatise makes no claims to be a biblical or liturgical exposition. 86 Discerning the overall structure of the Areopagite's corpus and the internal rationale for his sequence of treatises will be a major result of the following investigation into his method of interpreting the Bible and the liturgy.

536n 20-28). 99 EH 5 509c 31; cf. EH 5 505A 7, 512B 26, 513n 12, 513c 27. The term is also used individually for the ordinations of deacons (EH 5 509o 39), priests (EH 5 505c 29, but see dyjauraav in 505c 30f. ) and hierarchs (EH 5 509A 9). In this sense it is also applied to Moses' "ordination" of Aaron (EH 5 512BC 23f. and 26) and Jesus' "ordination" of the disciples (EH 5 512c 32f. ). It also retains its original meaning of "completion" regarding the selection of Matthias to complete the number of the disciples at twelve (EH 5 512o 43).

This rank contemplates and communes "proportionately, " "in its own way, " "as far as possible. " 71 While such statements of proportion and limitation depending upon rank apply throughout the hierarchy,72 a clear distinction is here drawn between the lay people on the one hand, contemplative and communing of'certain sacred things, whose ignorance is patiently born by the priests,73 and those, on the other hand, who contemplate every entire sacred act "in an intellectual contemplation and communion, "...

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