Philosophy in Christian Antiquity 


by Christopher Stead  (Author), 1995


Christianity began as a little-known Jewish sect, but rose within 300 years to dominate the civilized world. It owed its rise in part to inspired moral leadership, but also to its success in assimilating, criticizing and developing the philosophies of the day. This book, which is written for nonspecialist readers, provides a concise conspectus of the emergence of philosophy among the Greeks, an account of its continuance in early Christian times, and its influence on early Christian thought, especially in formulating the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation.





List of abbreviations



1 – From the beginnings to Socrates

2 – Socrates and the Platonic Forms

3 – The philosophy of Plato’s maturity

4 – Aristotle

5 – Epicurus and the Stoics

6 – The Middle Platonists and Philo of Alexandria

7 – The philosophy of late antiquity



8 – The debate about Christian philosophy

9 – Greek and Hebrew conceptions of God

10 – Proofs of the existence of God

11 – God as simple unchanging Being

12 – How God is described

13 – Logos and Spirit

14 – Unity of substance

15 – Substance and Persons

16 – Christ as God and Man

17 – Two natures united



18 – Philosophy, faith and knowledge

19 – Freedom and goodness



Index of Names

Index of Subjects

The Lion Becomes Man: The Gnostic Leontomorphic Creator and the Platonic Tradition


Howard M. Jackson  (Author), 1985





List of Plates


  1. The Gospel of Thomas
  • A Puzzling Logion of Jesus
  • The Text-Critical Issue
  • Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 654
  • Summary


  1. The Gnostic Leontomorphic Demiurge
  • The Old Testament
  • Origen, Against Celsus
  • The Pistis Sophia
  • The Apocryphon of John
  • Manaean and Manichaean Texts
  • Summary


  1. The making of the Gnostic Synthesis
  • The Old Testament and Early Christianity
  • Ezekiel’s and the Merkabah
  • The Zodiacal Leo
  • Yahweh, Mios, and the Two Cities Leontopolis
  • The Orphic Cosmogony
  • The Mithraic Leontocephaline
  • Summary


  1. The Platonic Tradition
  • The Lion and the Passions
  • The Platonic Tradition
  • A Coptic Gnostic Version of the Parable
  • Summary



From Augustine to Eriugena : essays on Neoplatonism and Christianity in honor of John O’Meara


Martin, F. X., Richmond, J. A., 1991


In 1984 a group of John O’Meara’s colleagues decided to mark the occasion of his retirement from the chair of Latin in University College, Dublin, by the publication of a volume of essays. This book concentrates on Augustine and Eriugena, the two authors on whom he worked and with whom his international reputation is associated. Just as Augustine and Eriugena each tries to reconcile in his own individual way the Christian faith with the wisdom of the Graeco-Roman world, so this volume finds its focus.

(Text by the editors)


Table of Contents:

Jean Scot et l’ordinateur : le traitement syntaxique du « Periphyseon » / G.-H. Allard

Apophatic-kataphatic tensions in religious thought from the third to the sixth century A.D. : a background for Augustine and Eriugena / A.H. Armstrong

Eriugenas Faszination / Werner Beierwaltes

History and symbolism in the garden at Milan / Henry Chadwick

Augustine the Christian thinker / Mary T. Clark

Philosophy and theology in Proclus : some remarks on the « philosophical » and « theological » modes of exegesis in Proclus’ Platonic commentaries / John Dillon

A mystic in Milan : « Reverberasti » revisited / Thomas Finan

Johannes Scottus Poeta / Michael Herren

Vox spiritualis Aquilae : quelques épis oubliés / Edouard Jeauneau

Theologia : note augustino-érigénienne / Goulven Madec

Porphyrianism in early Augustine : Olivier DuRoy’s contribution / R.J. O’Connell

Hierarchies in Augustine’s thought / Gerard J.P. O’Daly

The role of divine attraction in conversion according to St. Augustine / José Oroz Reta

Ut scriptura pictura : une thème de l’esthétique médiévale et ses orines / Jean Pépin

A Porphyrian treatise against Aristotle? / Andrew Smith

Reading Plato in Antiquity

Harold Tarrant, Dirk Baltzly (Editors), 2006


This important collection of original essays is the first to concentrate on how the ancients responded to the challenge of reading and interpreting Plato, primarily between 100 BC and AD 600. It incorporates the fruits of recent research into late antique philosophy, in particular its approach to hermeneutic problems. While a number of prominent figures, including Apuleius, Galen, Plotinus, Porphyry and Iamblichus, receive detailed attention, several essays concentrate on the important figure of Proclus who provides the theme for the jacket of this book, with his characterisation of the true interpreters of Plato’s philosophy as a chorus of Bacchants.

The essays appear in the chronological order of their focal interpreters, giving a sense of the development of Platonist exegesis in this period. Reflecting their devotion to a common theme, the essays have been selected and are presented with a composite bibliography and indices.

(Text by the editors)


Table of contents

List of Contributors
Introduction, Harold Tarrant & Dirk Baltzly
1. Platonic interpretation and eclectic theory, Harold Tarrant
2. Pedantry and pedestrianism? Some reflections on the Middle Platonic commentary tradition , John Dillon
3. Apuleius on the Platonic gods, John F. Finamore
4. ‘Plato will tell you’: Galen’s use of the Phaedrus in De Placitis Hippocratis et Platonis IX, Julius Rocca
5. Platonists on the origin of evil, John Phillips
6. The species infima as the infinite: Timaeus 39e7-9 Parmenides 144b4-c1 and Philebus 16e1-2 in Plotinus Ennead VI.2.22 73, Atsushi Sumi
7. The doctrine of the degrees of virtues in the Neoplatonists: an analysis of Porphyry’s Sentence , its antecedents, and its heritage, Luc Brisson
8. The mathematics of justice, Hayden W. Ausland
9. A historical cycle of hermeneutics in Proclus’ Platonic Theology, Tim Buckley
10. Proclus as a reader of Plato’s Timaeus, John J. Cleary
11. The eikôs mythos in Proclus’ commentary on the Timaeus, Marije Martijn
12. Pathways to purification: the cathartic virtues in the Neoplatonic commentary tradition, Dirk Baltzly
13. The transformation of Plato and Aristotle, Richard Sorabji
14. The harmony of Plato and Aristotle according to Neoplatonism, Lloyd P. Gerson
15. Reading Proclus Diadochus in Byzantium, Ken Parry
Index Locorum
Index of Ancient Names
Index of Modern Names
Index of Selected Topics

Relationship Between Neoplatonism and Christianity 


Thomas Finan (Author), Vincent Twomey (Editor), 1995


This book is devoted to the papers read at the first patristic conference held in Ireland. The theme was the relationship between Neoplatonism and Christianity, a topic that in recent scholarship has been the centre of controversy. The main lines of that controversy are discussed by James McEvoy, Professor of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy in Louvain, in a refreshingly new way that throws unexpected light on the complex topic and shows its relevance for today. John Dillon, Professor of Greek, Trinity College Dublin, examines the influence of Platonism on Plotinus and Origen in order to demonstrate the originality of the Christian philosopher. One of the foremost experts on Eriugina, Dermot Moran, Professor of Philosophy, University College Dublin, discusses the influence of Origen on the great Irish mediaeval scholar. The difficulty of speaking about God is explored by Fran O’Rourke, Lecturer in Philosophy, University College Dublin, on the basis of the speculations of Pseudo-Dionysius. The incomprehensibility of God in the writings of Gregory of Nyssa is discussed with great originality by the Newman Scholar, Deirdre Carabine.

Original also is the contribution of Thomas O’Loughlin who examines the little known interest of St Augustine in astrology and the part it played in his conversion. Augustine is likewise the subject of the noteworthy contribution by Eoin Cassidy, lecturer, Mater Dei Iinstitute, Dublin, to the debate about the nature of friendship and the recovery of classical themes in the writings of the Bishop of Hippo.

(Text by the editors)




John J. O’Meara – Foreword

Thomas Finan, Vincent Twomey – Introduction

John Dillon – Origen and Plotinus: The Platonic Influence on Early Christianity

Dermot Moran – Origen and Eriugena: Aspects of Christian Gnosis

Fran O’Rourke – Being and Non-Being in the Pseudo-Dionysius

Deirdre Carabine – Gregory of Nyssa on the Incompreensibility of God

Thomas O’Loughlin – The Libri Philosophorum and Augustine’s Conversions

Eoin Cassidy – The Recovery of the Classical Ideal of Friendship in Augustine’s Portrayal of Caritas

Thomas Finan – Modes of Vision in St. Augustine: De Genesi ad litteram XII

James J. McEvoy – Neoplatonism and Christianity: Influence, Syncretism or discernment?

Platonisms: Ancient, Modern, and Postmodern

(Studies in Platonism, Neoplatonism, and the Platonic Tradition #4)

Kevin Corrigan and John D. Turner (Editors), 2007
The present volume argues that Plato and Platonism should be understood not as a series of determinate doctrines or philosophical facts to be pinned down once and for all, but rather as an inexhaustible mine of possible trajectories. The book examines in this light different strands of Platonic thinking from the dialogues themselves through later Antiquity and the Medieval World into Modernity and Post-Modernity with new essays ranging from Descartes, Kant, Hegel, and Natorp to Yeats, Levinas and Derrida. And also suggests the possibility of reading the dialogues and the whole tradition resonating in and through them in new, unexpected ways.
(Text by the editors)


Preliminary Material – K. Corrigan and J.D. Turner

Introduction. Plato And Platonisms – Kevin Corrigan and John D. Turner

The Individual Contributions To The Volume – K. Corrigan and J.D. Turner

Platonic Dialectic: The Path And The Goal – T .A Szlezák

What Is A God According To Plato? – Luc Brisson

Victorinus, Parmenides Commentaries And The Platonizing Sethian Treatises – John D. Turner

Proclus And The Ancients – Steven Strange

Virtue, Marriage, And Parenthood In Simplicius’ Commentary On Epictetus’ ‘Encheiridion’ – G. Reydams-Schils

How To Apply The Modern Concepts Of Mathesis Universalis And Scientia Universalis To Ancient Philosophy, Aristotle, Platonisms, Gilbert Of Poitiers, And Descartes – Gerald Bechtle

Real Atheism And Cambridge Platonism: Men Of Latitude, Polemics, And The Great Dead Philosophers – Douglas Hedley

The Language Of Metaphysics Ancient And Modern – Robert Berchman

The Platonic Forms As Gesetze: Could Paul Natorp Have Been Right? – John Dillon

Crying In Plato’S Teeth—W.B. Yeats And Platonic Inspiration – Anthony Cuda

The Face Of The Other: A Comparison Between The Thought Of Emmanuel Levinas, Plato, And Plotinus – Kevin Corrigan

Derrida Reads (Neo-) Platonism – Stephen Gersh

Bibliography – K. Corrigan and J.D. Turner

General Index – K. Corrigan and J.D. Turner

Neoplatonism After Derrida: Parallelograms

 (Studies in Platonism, Neoplatonism, and the Platonic Tradition #3)


by Stephen Gersh, 2006


This volume deals with the relation between Jacques Derrida’s writing and Neoplatonism (ancient, patristic, medieval). Starting from the undeniable fact of Derrida’s continuous engagement with this tradition, the present study deals not only with the actual reading of the Neoplatonists by Derrida (« Derrida after Neoplatonism ») but also with a hypothetical reading of Derrida by Neoplatonism (« Neoplatonism after Derrida »). Thus, the intended audience is both philologists and philosophers interested in the encounter of ancient and contemporary thought. Separate chapters are devoted to a general study of Neoplatonism and Deconstruction, commentaries on three Derridean texts in which their ‘Neoplatonic’ implications are developed, and a treatment of the problem of non-discursive thought in which all Neoplatonic and Derridean perspectives are transcended.

(Text by the author)






Chapter One Derrida reads (Neo-) Platonism

Chapter Two What is Called “Negative Theology?”

Chapter Three Margins of Augustine

Chapter Four Remains to be Thought

4.1 Of the Abyss

4.2 From Ontology to Erasure

4.3 Of the Secret


Derridean Concordance

Index of Names

Index of Terms and Concepts

The Syntax of Time: The Phenomenology of Time in Greek Physics and Speculative Logic from Iamblichus to Anaximander

 (Studies in Platonism, Neoplatonism, and the Platonic Tradition #2)


by Peter Manchester, 2005


The fourth century Neoplatonist Iamblichus, interpreting Plotinus on the topic of time, incorporates a ‘diagram of time’ that bears comparison to the figure of double continuity drawn by Husserl in his studies of time. Using that comparison as a bridge, this book seeks a phenomenological recovery of Greek thought about time. It argues that the feature of motion that the word ‘time’ designates in Greek differs from what most modern scholarship has assumed, that the very phenomenon of time has been misidentified for centuries. This leads to corrective readings of Plotinus, Aristotle, Parmenides, and Heraclitus, all looking back to the final phrase of the fragment of Anaximander, from which this volume takes its title: « according to the syntax of time. »

(Text by the organizer)




Preface and Acknowledgments

Chapter One – Two-Dimensional Time in Husserl and Iamblichus

The Problem of the Flowing of Time

The Flux of Consciousness

The Transparency of the Flux

Time-Framing in Locke and Hume

The Dimensions of Transparency

Two-Dimensional Time in Husserl

The Figure of Double Continuity

The Double Intentionality of Disclosure Space

Two-Dimensional Time in Iamblichus

Time as the Sphere of the All


Chapter Two – Time and the Soul in Plotinus

Two-Dimensional Time in Neoplatonism

The Schema of Participation

The Silence of Time in Plotinus


Chapter Three – Everywhere Now: Physical Time in Aristotle

Soul and the Surface of Exoteric Time

The Spanning of Motion

The Scaling of Spans

The Unit of Disclosure Space

The Soul of Physical Time


Chapter Four – Parmenides: Time as the Now

Parmenides Thinks about Time

Signpost 1: Being Ungenerated and Unperishing

Signpost 2: Whole; Signpost 4: The Coherent One

Signpost 3: Now is All at Once and Entirely Total



Chapter Five – Heraclitus and the Need for Time

Review: The Path to Heraclitus

From Husserl to Heraclitus via Iamblichus

Time in Heraclitus: The Circular Joining of ἀεὶ and αἰών

Heraclitus as a Gloss on Anaximander


Appendix 1 – Physical Lectures on Time by Aristotle: A MinimalTranslation

Appendix 2 – Fragment 8 of the Poem of Parmenides: Text and Translation



Porphyry Against the Christians – (Studies in Platonism, Neoplatonism, and the Platonic Tradition #1)


by Robert M. Berchman, 2005


This volume is a translation of fragments and testimonia of Porphyry’s lost work « Against the Christians ». The first part of the work examines Author, Title, date of composition, and sources. The second part discusses the structure of « Against the Christians, » The third part focuses on the religious, philosophical, and cultural background of this text. The fourth section constitutes the translation of the fragments and testimonia of « Against the Christians, » This work is especially important for historians of religion, philosophy, and Biblical Studies for it is an excellent example of a pagan tradition of scriptural interpretation and criticism of Christianity.

(Text by the author)

Recognising the Margins: Developments in Biblical and Theological Studies 


by Werner Jeanrond (Author),‎ Andrew D. H. Mayes (Editor), 2007


Eighteen scholars from Ireland and from many parts of the world contribute eighteen significant articles under four headings: Biblical Themes, Theological Themes, Cultural Themes and Ethical Themes. The contributors are Joseph Blenkinsopp, Martin Hengel, A. D. H. Mayes, Stephen D. Moore, Ellen J. van Wolde, John Dillon, James P. Mackey, John D’Arcy May, Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Werner G. Jeanrond, Karl-Josef Kuschel, Enda McDonagh, Felix Wilfred, Nigel Biggar, Stephen J. Duffy, Maureen Junker-Kenny, Dietmar Mieth and Elaine M. Wainwright. These essays are published to mark the occasion of Seán Freyne’s 70th birthday in 2005.

(Text by the editors)




I. Biblical themes

1. Who is the teacher in Isa 30:20 who will no longer remain hidden? – Joseph Blenkinsopp

2. The messianic secret in Mark -​ Martin Hengel

3. The Exodus as an ideology of the marginalised -​ A. D. H. Mayes

4. Mark and empire -​ Stephen D. Moore

5. Crossing border : speaking about the beginning in Genesis 1 and John 1 -​ Ellen J. van Wolde.


II. Theological Themes

6. « The eye of the soul » : the doctrine of the higher consciousness in the neoplatonic and sufic traditions -​ John Dillon

7. The lapses in Christian theology at the end of the second millennium – James P. Mackey

8. Rootedness : reflections on land and belonging -​ John D’Arcy May

9. An other name for G*d -​ Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza.


III. Cultural Themes

10. The future of Christianity in Europe – Werner G. Jeanrond

11. Interreligious dialogue and global ethic in an age of globalisation -​ Karl-Josef Kuschel

12. Theatre, tragedy and theology -​ Enda McDonagh

13. The Galileans of the south : the untouchables at the margins -​ Felix Wilfred.


IV. Ethical Themes

14. Specifying the Meaning: Jesus, the New Testament and violence -​ Nigel Biggar

15. The quest for freedom in a culture of choice -​ Stephen J. Duffy

16. Virtues and the God who makes everything new -​ Maureen Junker-Kenny

17. The role and backgrounds of religious, ethical, legal and social issues in the progress of science – Dietmar Mieth

18. « It is part of a process, it is part of a pilgrimage » : text in context and conflict -​ Elaine M. Wainwright.