Pseudo-Dionysios in Luther and Lutheran Tradition

Pseudo-Dionysios in Luther and Lutheran Tradition. Kirkehistorisk seminar ved professor Johannes Zachhuber, University of Oxford, Faculty of Theology and Religion

The question of the importance of the mystical tradition for Martin Luther has often been asked. Usually, scholars have approached it by dividing the mystical tradition into three different types: Dionysian, Latin, and German. Of those three, the Dionysian type Luther was supposed to have firmly rejected. In my talk, I will show that the tripartite distinction of mysticism rests on questionable foundations and should be abandoned. A careful consideration of Luther’s references to Dionysius therefore becomes once again necessary. Such an investigation shows that Luther’s attitude to Dionysius was nuanced and differentiated throughout often differentiating between Dionysius’ own words and their interpretation by more recent theologians.