celestial hierarchy


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the collective body of angels

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Here too are John's comments on Dionysius' The Celestial Hierarchy, The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, The Divine Names, and each of the 10 Epistles.
("Hierarchy is a sacred order, a state of understanding, and an activity approximating as closely as possible to the Divine." This quote is from The Celestial Hierarchy in the Complete Works of Pseudo-Dionysius.) It is important in view of the way many feminists, and those of feminist persuasion, have been working to eliminate the very notion of hierarchy, or at least to discredit it.
The authority of the scriptures was invoked to defend the superior status of woman, in relation to Adam (Eve is created from his bone, a better substance than muck; she is created within Paradise, and as the crowning triumph of God's work) and to Christ (born to a woman, He first appears to women after the Resurrection, and the Virgin Mary outranks all men in the celestial hierarchy).
Gallus passed it on from Hugh of St Victor's exposition of The Celestial Hierarchy 7, as I have documented elsewhere.
The notion of heaven disposed Christians to think that the terrestrial Church could be refashioned to promote virtue and happiness through many ways: Apocalyptic exegesis (particularly Berengaudus and Joachim), the vita monastica as angelic, ecclesiological speculation on celestial hierarchy, an idealized City of God above as a prototype for the Church below, the heavenly Jerusalem as partially realizable on earth (individually and collectively), and mendicant reformers.
Examples of the more interesting tables include the Celestial Hierarchy (rankings of angels); a complete list of popes, with dates in office, and a description of accomplishments during their reign; a time line listing Catholic and secular persons, events, and descriptions; and a table devoted to patron saints.
What the Trinity gives the celestial hierarchy and what the angels in turn transmit to the ecclesiastical hierarchy is illumination, the heavenly rays of light that ultimately uplift us taward God.
The highest level of the celestial hierarchy enters into communion with Jesus through a "participation in the knowledge of the divine lights working out of him." They share in the divine activities and virtues.
Unlike the celestial hierarchy which is incorporeal and whose level of understanding is beyond us, the human hierarchy due to its limited nature must deal with a plurality of perceptible symbols, which nevertheless can lift us up hierarchically until we are brought as far as we can be into the unity of divinization.(63)
The necessity of liturgical mysteries and symbols is developed in The Celestial Hierarchy where Dionysius argues that divine and heavenly things can be represented through similar and dissimilar earthly symbols.
Paul mentions principalities and powers together with angels, thereby suggesting the idea of a celestial hierarchy. Other Epistles of St.
Still, according to Poupon, it was in exactly the same spirit that Lef'evre cast no doubt upon the Dionysian authorship of the Celestial Hierarchy.(7)
d on those of heaven, the latter being carefully traced out in The Celestial Hierarchy. In The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, pseudo-Denys had given his view of church order in the context of liturgy, but when the corpus came West, from the ninth century onwards, this proved less useful to theorists about ecclesiastical power than his more general vision, since many of the actual practices and offices described did not exist in the West or could only with difficulty be equated with its habits.
This plan follows Hugh of St Victor's comment on the prologue to The Celestial Hierarchy. In Hugh's scheme the Trinity is the basis and exemplar of all hierarchy, the angels come next, and then humanity.(15) According to Easton the two first hierarchies (the Trinity and the angelic) do not have kings in the earthly sense; this concept applies only to this world, where lordship and correction are needed because of sin.
Episcopus quotes Hugh of St Victor on chapter one of The Celestial Hierarchy to explain that a multitude of powers would mean a schism.(22) By this understanding earthly dominion is always partial and limited.