American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 82, Issue 4, Fall 2008


Enrica Ruaro
Pages 581-592

God and the Worm
The Twofold Otherness in Pseudo-Dionysius’s Theory of Dissimilar Images

The aim of my paper is to call attention to Dionysius’s kataphatic theology and, in particular, to an aspect which is not commonly discussed: the dissimilar images applied to God. More precisely, I will focus on the image of the worm, which Dionysius considers the vilest and most dissimilar image applied to the divine Thearchy. I will try to show that the worm, with its multiple and contradictory attributes, is indeed the best example for Dionysius’s “absurd theology” of the dissimilar images, since it perfectly fits the complex and paradoxical Dionysian view of the relationship/non-relationship between God and the world.