Mystery in Philosophy

An Invocation of Pseudo-Dionysius

By (author) Michael Craig Rhodes

Publication date:

24 August 2012

Length of book:

142 pages

Publisher

Lexington Books

ISBN-13: 9780739134344

Typically, mystery does not receive much attention in philosophy. Although Heidegger and other key philosophers have made a place for mystery in philosophy, many find such philosophizing suspect and unconvincing. As a general rule, contemporary philosophers have taken a different approach, and, thus, there has been very little discussion of mystery in philosophy. As a study of mystery in philosophy, this book is therefore somewhat unique. Moreover, it is also distinctive in the way it approaches the subject, tuning to an unpopular figure—Dionysius the Areopagite (c. 500)—in contemporary philosophy in effort to make connections between that form of thought and various claims and indications of mystery. Thus, the book is unconventional in terms of both its subject matter and its methodology.
In this short but ambitious book, Michael Craig Rhodes makes a persuasive case for the philosophical rehabilitation of the neglected notion of an ineffable mystery. Through an original discussion of the great early champion of ‘negative theology’, Pseudo-Dionysius, Rhodes develops a rich and attractive concept of being as an ‘ikon’ of transcendent mystery. The value of this concept is then established by showing how it is presupposed in some of the best modern contributions to the philosophies of mind, matter and language. Theologians and philosophers alike will welcome this challenging book.