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The Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism

 

On the 23 of May, 5-6.30 pm (UK time), the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism will host Professor Dominique Poirel, who will hold the seminar: "Pseudo-Dionysius and the West. The stages and effects of his reception on medieval Latin thinkers". The meeting will be on zoom.

Zoom link: https://cam-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/96518124617?pwd=TGx3R0x4UVk1K2E1bSs5Ny9JTURx...

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Pseudo-Dionysius and the West. The stages and effects of his reception on medieval Latin thinkers
Composed around 500 AD, the Corpus Dionysiacum, inspired by the Neoplatonist thought of Proclus and the Cappadocian Fathers, had an immense influence on the philosophy and theology of the Western Middle Ages. It would be a mistake, however, to think that this influence was immediate, general and simple. Although translated as early as the 9th century, it was not until the 12th and 13th centuries that the texts, concepts and theories of pseudo-Dionysius became popular amongst the Latin readers, not without significant distortions from Dionysius’ original doctrine. So strange and difficult were these texts that each master successively tended to interpret them according to his own expectations and conceptions. We will therefore describe the story of this slow, gradual and sometimes surprising reception, in order to better analyse the multiform impact that the Corpus Dionysiacum has long had and perhaps still has on Western thought.

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Archiviste paléographe (diploma of École nationale des chartes) and Doctor with Habilitation in History at Paris IV - Sorbonne, Dominique Poirel is Senior Researcher (Directeur de recherche) at Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes, in French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, and Director of the Institut d’Études Médiévales at Institut Catholique de Paris. He is engaged upon the intellectual history of the Middle Ages, especially in the 12th c. schools of Saint-Victor and Chartres, the Franciscan authors of the 13th c. and the Latin reception of Pseudo-Dionysius. His works associate closely Latin philology, textual criticism, history of doctrines and intellectual methods. Among his publications on the present topic are the critical edition, from 120 manuscripts, of Hugh of Saint Victor’s commentary on Pseudo-Dionysius’ Celestial HierarchyHugonis de Sancto Victore Opera, t. III, Turnhout, Brepols, 2015 (CCCM 178, 748 pages); and a companion book on this commentary: Des symboles et des anges. Hugues de Saint-Victor et le réveil dionysien du XIIe siècle, Turnhout, 2013, 589 pages.

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