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WAYS TO KNOW GOD THE "SYMBOLIC THEOLOGY" OF DIONYSIUS THE AREOPAGITE AND ITS FACTUAL PRESUPPOSITIONS '1. I. Preparatory Considerations 1. The Areopagitica. One may distinguish three main spiritual currents which powerfully fashioned Western men1 The author, Sister Theresia Benedicta a Cruce, 0. C. D., who in the world was Dr. Edith Stein, mailed the manuscript of this article to Professor Marvin Farber, tht' editor of the Journal of Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, in the fall of 1941. Prof. Farber submitted it to the present translator for use and publication. Since then no reliable information has been obtainable on the fate the author suffered. She had left the Carmelite convent at Lindenthal-Cologne and found refuge in the convent of Echt in Holland. Because of her Jewish descent either she was forced to leave Germany or it was considered prudent to have her lt'Bve. It has been reported, by apparently reliable sources, that she was later arrested by the Germans and put in a concentration camp in Poland, where she is said u; have died, presumably being killed. But no definite confirmation of thi! has reached this country. On Dr. Stein's previous work in philosophy and her intellectual and religious development, see the article by J. Collins, "Edith Stein and the Advance of Phenomenology," Thought, 1942, XVII, 68i; also "The Fate of .Edith Stein," ibid., 1948, XVIII, 824. The study presented here is obviously intended as a sort of introduction to further investigations into the problem indicated by the title. Whether any of these studies are extant we do not know; a great work on ontology, to which the author referred in a letter to Professor Farber of the same date as this manuscript, was completed. The printing of it, however, was forbidden by the German authorities ; the fate of the book is unknown at the present time. This information is owed to the courtesy of Professor Farber. The reader acquainted with Husserl's phenomenology will recognize his influence in the present article. It seems to have been the intention of the author to make use of certain ideas, developed within Husserl's school, for the elucidation of metaphysical and theological problems. Her having grown up, as it were, in the atmosphere of phenomenology-she was for many years Professor Husserl's assistant -causes the author to use a certain technical language the rendering of which into English is not always easy. It has been the endeavor of the translator to avoid such technicalities as far as possible, so as to make the text intelligible to those not acquainted with this particular branch of contemporary philosophy. Anyone who wishes to know more about it should consult Marvin Farber's Phenomenology as a Method and as a Philosophical Discipline, Buffalo, 1928. Although there remain certain passages in connection with which some explanation or comment might be desirable, the translator has refrained from adding anything to the original text. R. Allers. 879 380 SISTER THERESIA BENEDICTA A CRUCE tality throughout the Middle Ages and have descended from there as a still effective living heritage to our own times. Revelation as contained in the Scriptures is presupposed therein as a firm foundation. The three currents are different means by which to comprehend this Scriptural content, to appropriate it internally, to incorporate the Divine Word into the products of human endeavor, and thus to attain a living whole built up from Divine and human wisdom. The effect of these three currents is plainly visible in the work of St. Thomas, and the influence they had in later times was, perhaps, furthered more by the writings of Aquinas than by those of any other author. The three currents referred to are Greek thought, particularly that of Aristotle, the life work of St. Augustine, and the legacy of the "Areopagite." Upon the mention of these names the reader realizes immediately that there can be no question of three strictly separate currents. The minds of St. Augustine and of Dionysius were formed, each in its own way, by Greek thought; their work represents the first great attempt at clarification , which was resumed later under their guidance. For this reason the influence of these two authors is...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2473-3725
Print ISSN
0040-6325
Pages
pp. 379-420
Launched on MUSE
2017-06-15
Open Access
No
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