Hyperousios: God ‘without being,’ 'Super- being,' or ‘Unlimited Being’?

Darley, A.P. (2017) Hyperousios: God ‘without being,’ 'Super- being,' or ‘Unlimited Being’? Heythrop Journal, 58 (6). pp. 865-888. ISSN 0018-1196

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It has been argued by John Milbank and the Radical Orthodoxy sensibility that a genealogy can be traced directly from the univocity of being in scholastics such as Duns Scotus and William of Occam to modern atheism . However, it can also be argued that such a genealogy can be traced from the equivocity of religious language amongst certain mystics to modern atheism. This link is clearly seen in the Vienna Circle for whom the ‘nonsense’ talk of mystics was a special object of attack and derision, prompting in part the reactionary turn towards an insistence on univocal language in an attempt to save meaning ( a turn which ultimately ended in failure). Anthony Flew famously questioned the essential difference between a God who ‘dies the death by a thousand qualifications’ and no God at all . Finally amongst the ‘death of God theologians’ such as Altizer and Hamilton or more recently Caputo, Rollins et al the equivocity of being and atheism become effectively coterminous with each other. As a contribution to the debate on the meaningfulness of theological language, this paper will focus on examining Pseudo- Dionysius the Areopagite and how far his reception by Thomas Aquinas might overcome some of the problems arising in modern and postmodern readings of his work. I will examine the appellation of God in Dionysius as ‘Beyond Being,’ it’s interpretation in Jean Luc Marion as ‘God Without Being’ , the accusation from Derrida that negative theology really affirms God as a Superbeing and the transformation of Dionysian hyperousios in Aquinas as ‘Unlimited Being’ with some analysis of the implication of these respective views for epistemology.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2017 John Wiley & Sons. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Darley, A. P. (2017) Hyperousios: God ‘without being,’ 'Super- being,' or ‘Unlimited Being’? Heythrop Journal, 58 (6), 865-888, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/heyj.12663. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Divisions: School of Humanities
Depositing User: Alan Darley
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2017 11:00
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2019 14:20
URI: https://bgro.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/238

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