Despite his importance to later English medieval spirituality, the possibility of Pseudo-Dionysius's influence in Anglo-Saxon England remains unresolved, having been merely subjected to brief speculation. This article quantifies Pseudo-Dionysius's potential influence by tracing all evidence for Anglo-Saxon contact with the Corpus Areopagitum. Using Stock's model of “textual communities,” it reviews the study of Pseudo-Dionysius at Rome and the Carolingian court and discusses the level of intellectual exchange between Anglo-Saxon England and these Continental centers, with particular focus on Israel the Grammarian. It then discusses the unacknowledged presence of Pseudo-Dionysius's thought in Anglo-Saxon manuscripts and analyzes Hilduin's exposition of his theology in Passio Sancti Dionysii. It concludes that Pseudo-Dionysius was an influence on Anglo-Saxon thought. Beyond signaling the need for his influence on Anglo-Saxon spirituality and texts to be reconsidered, this article's suggestion of Pseudo-Dionysius's preconquest influence has implications for the accepted history of English medieval spirituality.
The Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures (formerly Mystics Quarterly) is currently in its thirty-second year of continuous publication. The journal chiefly publishes peer-reviewed essays on mystical and devotional texts, especially but not exclusively of the Western Middle Ages. In its new form it seeks to expand its areas of focus to include the relationship of medieval religious cultures outside Europe. The journal also publishes book reviews and disseminates information of interest to all those who by profession, vocation, or inclination are interested in mysticism and the Middle Ages.
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