Beauty is the great creating cause which bestirs the world, and holds all things in existence by the longing inside them to have beauty.St. Dionysius the Areopagite, Divine Names
The Society of St. Dionysius the Areopagite is a group of Christians from various traditions who meet in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. We are dedicated to the reading of pre-modern texts (as well as more recent texts with sympathetically pre-modern leanings) and the cultivation of a Beauty-centric social imaginary.
Since 2019, the heart of the Society of St. Dionysius the Areopagite has been a weekly meeting to read and discuss the great books of the Western canon and the Christian tradition — most often outside around a blazing fire, in the company of a fine beverage. Out of these weekly meetings, a “secret society” (a term we use with our tongues set firmly in our cheeks) was born, dedicated to:
- Local culture: The SSDA is committed to cultivating, beauty, prayer, and the life of the mind specifically in the Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex.
- Incarnational living: In the Age of Zoom Meetings, the SSDA positively refuses to record or stream anything. All of our discussions and events happen live and face-to-face — which during the 2020 pandemic necessitated a bit of creativity.
- “Eighth Day Ecumenism”: The SSDA was founded by and is primarily composed of Orthodox Christians, but we are firmly committed to the idea of “ecumenism without compromise” as articulated by the Eighth Day Institute.
- Pre-modern thinking and living: We believe that the books most worth reading and the ideas most worth living are the ones which have stood the test of time.
- A “beauty-first” social imaginary: It is the beauty of Christ which draws us out of non-being and into being. It is then that we are confronted with the goodness of the Cross. By embracing it, and its suffering, we become true persons.
The Society of St. Dionysius the Areopagite is not a church or parish community, and does not offer catechesis or spiritual leadership. Instead, we recommend that our members — like our heavenly patron — pick up their head and go to Church.