Christian Metaphysics and Neoplatonism: by Albert Camus

 

Albert Camus  (Author), Ronald D. Srigley (Translator, Introduction), 2008

 

Contemporary scholarship tends to view Albert Camus as a modern, but he himself was conscious of the past and called the transition from Hellenism to Christianity the true and only turning point in history. For Camus, modernity was not fully comprehensible without an examination of the aspirations that were first articulated in antiquity and that later received their clearest expression in Christianity. These aspirations amounted to a fundamental reorientation of human life in politics, religion, science, and philosophy. Understanding the nature and achievement of that reorientation became the central task of Christian Metaphysics and Neoplatonism. Primarily known through its inclusion in a French omnibus edition, it has remained one of Camus’ least-read works, yet it marks his first attempt to understand the relationship between Greek philosophy and Christianity as he charted the movement from the Gospels through Gnosticism and Plotinus to what he calls Augustine’s second revelation of the Christian faith. Ronald Srigley’s translation of this seminal document helps illuminate these aspects of Camus’ work. His freestanding English edition exposes readers to an important part of Camus’ thought that is often overlooked by those concerned primarily with the book’s literary value and supersedes the extant McBride translation by retaining a greater degree of literalness. Srigley has fully annotated Christian Metaphysics to include nearly all of Camus’ original citations and has tracked down many poorly identified sources. When Camus cites an ancient primary source, whether in French translation or in the original language, Srigley substitutes a standard English translation in the interest of making his edition accessible to a wider range of readers. His introduction places the text in the context of Camus’ better-known later work, explicating its relationship to those mature writings and exploring how its themes were reworked in subsequent books. Arguing that Camus was one of the great critics of modernity through his attempt to disentangle the Greeks from the Christians, Srigley clearly demonstrates the place of Christian Metaphysics in Camus’ oeuvre. As the only stand-alone English version of this important work–and a long-overdue critical edition–his fluent translation is an essential benchmark in our understanding of Camus and his place in modern thought.

(Text by the editor)

 

Contents

 

Acknowledgements

Translator’s Introduction

 

Introduction

  1. Evangelical Christianity
  2. Gnosis
  3. Mystic Reason
  4. Augustine

 

Conclusion

Bibliography

Index

Philosophy and Theurgy in Late Antiquity 

 

Algis Uzdavinys (Author), John Finamore (Foreword), jan/2010

 

The Ancient Philosophy, in its original Orphico-Pythagorean and Platonic form, is not simply a way of life in accordance with the divine or human intellect (nous), but also the way of alchemical transformation and mystical illumination achieved through initiatic “death” and subsequent restoration at the level of divine light. As a means of spiritual reintegration and unification, ancient philosophy is inseparable from the hieratic rites. The theurgic “animation” of statues appears to be among the main keys for understanding how various royal and priestly practices, related to the daily ritual service and encounter with the divine presence in the temples, developed into the Neoplatonic mysticism of late antiquity.

(Text by the author)

 

Contents

 

Foreword

Introduction

  1. The origins and meaning of philosophy

Eidothea and Proteus: the veiled images of philosophy

The distinction between philosophical life and philosophical discourse

Standing face to face with immortality

Philosophy and the hieratic rites of ascent

The task of ‘Egyptian philosophy’: to connect the end to the beginning

The Kronian life of spectator: ‘to follow one’s heart in the tomb’

Thauma idesthai: ‘a wonder to behold’

The invincible warriors as models of philosophical lifestyle

The inward journey to the place of truth

To be like Osiris

The death which detaches form the inferior

Entering the solar barque of Atum-Ra

Philosophical initiations in the Netherworld

Self-knowledge and return to one’s innermost self

Recovered unity of Dionysus in ourselves

Philosophical mummification inside the cosmic tomb

Platonic dialectic: the science of purificarion and restoration of unity

Philosophy as a rite of becoming like God

The ancient logos and its sacramental function

Riddles of the cosmic Myth

Philosophy, magic, and laughter

 

  1. Voices of the fire : ancient theurgy and its tools

Definitions of theurgy in antiquity

Descending lights and animated cult images

Figures, names, and tokens of the divine speech

The prophet Bitys and the overwhelming Name of God

The descending and ascending paths of Heka

The Silence beforer the gods and its creative magic

Hekate’s golden ball as a rotating ‘vocal image’ of the Father

The Sounding breaths of the All-Working Fire

The Elevating rays of the resounding light

The rites of hieratic invocation and ascent

The Tantric alchemy and the Osirian mummification

Golden seeds of the noetic Fire

Theurgic speech of the birds and solar knowledge

Tongues of the gods and their songs

Back to the life-giving wombs and the ineffable Silence

Chanting out the universe by the Name of everything

When Orontes flowed into Tiber: the revived tradition

 

  1. Sacred images and animated statues in antiquity

Myth and symbol: what makes the impossible happen?

Metaphysics of creation and its images in pharaonic Egypt

Theogonic appearances and animated stones

Theology of images and its esoteric dimension

Privileged habitations for the immortal gods

Beholding the ineffable beauties

Divine bodies and representations in Indian Tantrism

Sense perception and intellection in Neoplatonism

Divine light and luminous vehicle of the soul

Divine presence in images

Living images of the Egyptian gods

To be made into a spirit of light

Rites of alchemical transformation

The opening of the statue’s mouth

Mystical union with the noetic Sun

Revelation of the divine face

Divine statues and their sacred gifts

Salvation as return to the divine

 

  1. Metaphysical symbols and their function in theurgy

Symbols as ontological traces of the divine

The anagogic power of secret names and tokens

Animated theurgic hieroglyphs of the hidden Amun

Neoplatonic rites of metaphysical reversion

The ineffable statues of trancendent light

 

  1. Divine rites and philosophy in neoplatonism.

Ritual and cosmic order

The aim of philosophy

Different aspects of divine acts

Theurgy and spiritual hermeneutics

Hieratic rites of ascent

The common metaphysical background

Philosophers as sacred statues

To be reborn into the solar world

The cosmic theatre of sacrificial fires

Golden cords of Apollo

The shining forth like a god

 

Appendix: The limits of Speculation in Neoplatonism

The Hermeneutical program of reading Neoplatonism

Non-discursive divine presence and relational transcendence

Masks and tongues of the ineffable

The distinction between looking up at the Sun and looking down at reflections

Modes of intellection and union

To live means to read

Golden cords of Apollo

The shining forth like a god

 

Bilbiography of works on Philosophy&Theurgy

Glossary of terms

Biographical note

Approaching Late Antiquity

The Transformation from Early to Late Empire

 

Edited by Simon Swain and Mark Edwards, 2006

 

What factors already present in the society of the High Roman Empire developed and expanded into the world of Late Antiquity? What was distinct in this period from what went before? The answers to these complex and fascinating questions embrace the fields of cultural history, politics, ideas, art, philosophy, pagan religion, Christian church, Greek and Latin literature, the army, the law, the provinces, settlement, and the economy. Approaching Late Antiquity is an illustrated collection of fifteen original essays on the later Roman world written by a galaxy of internationally known scholars.

(Text by the editors)

 

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction, Simon Swain
  2. Economic Change and the Transition to Late Antiquity, Richard Duncan Jones
  3. A New Golden Age? The Northern Praefactura Urbi from the Severans to Diocletian, Emanuele Papi
  4. Transition and Change in Diocletian’s Egypt: Province and Empire in the Late Third Century, Colin Adams
  5. Roman Law 200 to 400 AD: From Cosmopolis to Rechtstaat?, Tony Honoré
  6. Roman Citizenship and Roman Law in the Late Empire, Peter Garnsey
  7. Emperors and Armies, AD 235-395, Michael Whitby
  8. Romanitas and the Church of Rome, Mark Edwards
  9. Pagan and Christian Monotheism in the Age of Constantine, Mark Edwards
  10. The Transformations of Imperial Church going in the Fourth Century, Neil McLynn
  11. Late Antique Art: the Problem of the Concept and the Cumulative Aesthetic, Jas Elsner
  12. Painted Hellenes: Mummy Portraits from Late Roman Egypt, Susan Walker
  13. Poetry and Literary Culture in Late Antiquity, Alan Cameron
  14. Sophists and Emperors: the Case of Libanius, Simon Swain
  15. Philosophy as a Profession in Late Antiquity, John Dillon

Plato’s Parmenides and Its Heritage

Volume 1: History and interpretation from the Old Academy to Later Platonism and Gnosticism

 

Nous voudrions signaler la parution en 2010 de l’ouvrage édité par John D. Turner et Kevin Corrigan, Plato’s Parmenides and Its Heritage, vol. 1 : History and Interpretation from the Old Academy to Later Platonism and Gnosticism, Leiden, 2011, ISBN : 978-90-04-16930-2.

Ce volume revient sur l’assertion de Proclus qui est généralement acceptée par la recherche et selon laquelle il n’y a pas d’interprétation métaphysique du Parménide avant Plotin. En effet, des traces d’une telle interprétation assez tôt dans le temps, comme le démontrent les différentes contributions. L’ouvrage est divisé en deux parties, la première « Plato, from the Old Academy to Middle Platonism » et la seconde « Middle Platonic and Gnostic Texts ». C’est cette seconde partie qui nous intéresse ici, particulièrement cinq articles qui évoquent les liens entre écrits gnostiques et le Parménide.

Trois d’entre eux discutent notamment les résultats des recherches de Michel Tardieu et Pierre Hadot sur le Zostrien et Marius Victorinus, témoignant de leur importance. (suite…)

Religion and Philosophy in the Platonic and Neoplatonic Traditions

From Antiquity to the Early Medieval Period

 

Edited by Kevin Corrigan, John D. Turner and Peter Wakefield, 2012.

 

This book explores the intimate connections, conflicts and discontinuities between religion and philosophy in the Platonic and Neoplatonic traditions from Antiquity to the early Medieval period. It presents a broader comparative view of Platonism by examining the strong Platonist resonances among different philosophical/religious traditions, primarily Jewish, Christian, Islamic and Hindu, and suggests many new ways of thinking about the relation between these two fields or disciplines that have in modern times become such distinct and, at times, entirely separate domains.

(Text by the editors)

 

Table of Contents

 

Abbreviations

Introduction: Kevin Corrigan, John D. Turner and Peter Wakefield

In Memory of Steven K. Strange

 

Part I: Religion, Philosophy, Divine Inspiration and Religious Piety in the pre-Platonic and Platonic Traditions

  1. Suzanne Stern-Gillet (University of Bolton, UK): “Divine Inspiration Transformed: From Hesiod to Ficino.”
  2. Kevin Corrigan (Emory University): “Religion and Philosophy in the Platonic tradition.”
  3. John Dillon (Trinity College, Dublin, Emeritus): “The Religion of the last Hellenes.”

 

Part II: Religion and Philosophy in the Platonic and Neoplatonic Traditions

  1. Steven K. Strange (Emory University): “Plotinus and the Ancients”
  2. Michael Harrington (Duquesne University): « The Emperor Julian’s Use of Neoplatonic Philosophy and Religion.
  3. John Phillips (University of Tennessee): “Proclus and others on Divine Causation”.
  4. John Dillon (Trinity College, Dublin, Emeritus): “Philosophy and Theology in Proclus.”
  5. Gerald Bechtle (University of Bern, Switzerland): “Categories and Conversion.”
  6. Luc Brisson (CNRS, Paris, France): “Allegory as used by the later Neoplatonic philosophers.”

 

Part III: Comparative Perspectives: Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and Hindu

   10 Sarah Pessin (University of Denver): “Divine Presence, Divine Absence and the Plotinian Apophatic Dialectic: Isaac Israeli.”

  1. John D. Turner (University of Nebraska, Lincoln): “The Curious Philosophical World of Later Religious Gnosticism: The Symbiosis of Antique Philosophy and Religion.”
  2. Volker Drecoll (Tübingen University, Germany): “Middle Platonic elements in Augustine’s De Civitate 8.”
  3. Svetla Slaveva-Griffin (Florida State University): « Contemplative Ascent as Dance in Plotinus and Rūmī. »
  4. Deepa Majumdar (Purdue University): “The Enneads of Plotinus and the Bhagavadgītā: Harmony amidst Differences.”
  5. Rkia Elaroui Cornell (Emory University): “The Muslim Diotima? Traces of Plato’s Symposium in Sufi Narratives of Rabi’a al- ‘Adawiyya”
  6. Daniel Regnier (St. Thomas More College): “The Simple Soul: Plotinus and Śaṅkara on Self and Soul as Partless”
  7. Benjamin Gleede (Universität Tübingen): “Endorsing a cliché: On Liberty and Necessity in Christian and Neoplatonist Accounts of Creation”
  8. Suzanne Stern-Gillet (University of Bolton, UK): “Virtues of Selfknowledge: Aristotle, Augustine, and Siger of Brabant”
  9. Bibliography
  10. Contributors
  11. Subject and Name Index

Iamblichus and the Foundations of Late Platonism

(Studies in Platonism, Neoplatonism, and the Platonic Tradition #13)

 

Eugene Afonasin, John M. Dillon and John F. Finamore (Editors), 2012

 

Iamblichus of Chalcis (c. 240-c. 325 C.E.), successor to Plotinus and Porphyry, gave new life to Neoplatonism with his many philosophical and religious refinements. Once regarded as a religio-magical quack, Iamblichus is now seen as a philosophical innovator who harmonized not only Platonic philosophy with religious ritual but also Platonism with the ancient philosophical and religious tradition. Building on recent scholarship on Iamblichean philosophy, the ten papers in this volume explore various aspects of Iamblichus’ oeuvre. These papers help show that Iamblichus re-invented Neoplatonism and made it the major school of philosophy for centuries after his death.

(Text by the editors)

 

Contents:

 

Front Matter – Eugene Afonasin, John Dillonand John F. Finamore

Introduction – Eugene Afonasin, John Dillon and John F. Finamore

The Pythagorean Way of Life in Clement of Alexandria and Iamblichus – Eugene Afonasin

Chapter 18 of the De Communi Mathematica Scientia Translation and Commentary – Luc Brisson

The Letters of Iamblichus: Popular Philosophy in a Neoplatonic Mode – John Dillon

Iamblichus: The Two-Fold Nature of the Soul and the Causes of Human Agency – Daniela P. Taormina

Iamblichus on Mathematical Entities – Claudia Maggi

The Role of Aesthesis in Theurgy – Gregory Shaw

Iamblichus on the Grades of Virtue – John F. Finamore

The Role of Divine Providence, Will and Love in Iamblichus’ Theory of Theurgic Prayer and Religious Invocation – Crystal Addey

Iamblichus’ Exegesis of Parmenides’ Hypotheses and His Doctrine of Divine Henads – Svetlana Mesyats

Iamblichus and Julian’s “Third Demiurge”: A Proposition – Adrien Lecerf

Index – Eugene Afonasin, John Dillon and John F. Finamore

Late Antique Epistemology

Other Ways to Truth

 

Vassilopoulou, P., Clark, S. (Eds.), 2009

 

Late Antique Epistemology explores the techniques used by late antique philosophers to discuss truth. Non-rational ways to discover truth, or to reform the soul, have usually been thought inferior to the philosophically approved techniques of rational argument, suitable for the less philosophically inclined, for children, savages or the uneducated. Religious rituals, oracles, erotic passion, madness may all have served to waken courage or remind us of realities obscured by everyday concerns. What is unusual in the late antique classical philosophers is that these techniques were reckoned as reliable as reasoned argument, or better still. Late twentieth century commentators have offered psychological explanations of this turn, but only recently had it been accepted that there might also have been philosophical explanations, and that the later antique philosophers were not necessarily deluded.

(Text by the editors)

 

Contents

 

Introduction – Vassilopoulou, Panayiota

Part 1 – Rituals, Religion and Reality

1. Porphyry and the Debate Over Traditional Religious Practices – Busine, Aude

2. St John in Amelius’ Seminar – Dillon, John

3. Eternal Time and Temporal Expansion: Proclus’ Golden Ratio – Kutash, Emilie F.

4. Having Sex with the One: Erotic Mysticism in Plotinus and the Problem of Metaphor – Mazur, Zeke

 

Part II – Crossing Boundaries

5. Ibn Ṭufayl and the Wisdom of the East: On Apprehending the Divine – Kukkonen, Taneli

6. Plotinus, Porphyry, and India: A Re-Examination – Lacrosse, Joachim

7. Animation of Statues in Ancient Civilizations and Neoplatonism – Uzdavinys, Algis

 

Part III – Art and Poetry

8. Platonists and the Teaching of Rhetoric in Late Antiquity – Heath, Maclcom

9. Proclus’ Notion of Poetry – Kuisma, Oiva

10. The Homeric Tradition in Ammonius and Asclepius – Manolea, Christina-Panagiota Manolea

 

Part IV – Later Influences

11. Nous and Geist: Self-Identity and Methodological Solipsism in Plotinus and Hegel – Rerchman, Robert M.

12. Μεστὰ πάντα σημείων. Plotinus, Leibniz, and Berkeley on Determinism – Bertini, Daniele

13. Proclus Americanus – Bregman, Jay

14. Ecology’s Future Debt to Plotinus and Neoplatonism – Corrigan, Kevin

15. Heathen Martyrs or Romish Idolaters: Socrates and Plato in Eighteenth-Century England – Poster, Carol

Conclusion – Clark, Stephen R. L.

Glossary – Prepared by Crystal Addey

Index of Names

Subject Index

Death and Immortality in Late Neoplatonism: Studies on the Ancient Commentaries on Plato’s Phaedo

(Studies in Platonism, Neoplatonism, and the Platonic Tradition #12)

Sebastian Ramon Philipp Gertz, 2011
The belief in the immortality of the soul has been described as one of the twin pillars of Platonism and is famously defended by Socrates in Plato s Phaedo. The ancient commentaries on the dialogue by Olympiodorus and Damascius offer a unique perspective on the reception of this belief in the Platonic tradition. Through a detailed discussion of topics such as suicide, the life of the philosopher and arguments for immortality, this study demonstrates the commentators serious engagement with problems in Plato’s text as well as the dialogue’s importance to Neoplatonic ethics. The book will be of interest to students of Plato and the Platonic tradition, and to those working on ancient ethics and psychology.
(Text by the author)
Contents:

Preliminary Material

Introduction

I. Olympiodorus On Suicide

II. Politics And Purification In Socrates’ Second Defence (Phd. 63b–69e)

III. Syrianus And Damascius: Two Interpretations Of The Argument From Opposites In Plato’s Phaedo (Phd. 69e–72d)

IV. Memory, Forgetfulness And Recollection In The Commentaries On Plato’s Phaedo

V. The Affinity Argument In Plato’s Phaedo

VI. The Final Argument In Plato’s Phaedo

VII. After Death: The Phaedo Myth And Its Neoplatonic Interpreters

General Conclusions

Bibliography

Index Rerum

Index nominum Veterum et Recentiorum

Index Locorum Potiorum

Pagan Monotheism in Late Antiquity

 

Edited by Polymnia Athanassiadi and Michael Frede, 1999

 

In this book distinguished experts from a range of disciplines (Orientalists, philologists, philosophers, theologians and historians) address a central problem which lies at the heart of the religious and philosophical debate of late antiquity. Paganism was not a unified tradition and consequently the papers cover a wide social and intellectual spectrum. Particular emphasis is given to several aspects of the topic: first, monotheistic belief in late antique philosophical ideals and its roots in classical antiquity and the Near East; second, monistic Gnosticism; third, the revelatory tradition as expressed in oracular literature; and finally, the monotheistic trend in popular religion.

(Text by the editors)

 

Contents:

 

Introduction

Towards Monotheism

Monotheism and Pagan Philosophy

Monotheism in the Gnostic Tradition

The Cult of Theos Hypsistos

The Chaldean Oracles

The Speech of Praetextatus

Die Beziehung zwischen dem Schönen und dem Guten in der Philosophie Plotins

 

Judith Omtzigt, 2012

 

Wie ein roter Faden führt das Thema ›Schönheit‹ durch die plotinische Philosophie. Speziell die Beziehung zwischen dem Schönen und dem Guten in seinen Schriften nimmt dieses Buch in den Blick.
Bereits Platon hat auf die ethische Bedeutung des Ästhetischen hingewiesen: Die Schönheit erweckt unseren Eros, der uns – über stets erhabenere Arten der Schönheit – zum Guten führt. Plotin macht diese Beziehung noch einsichtiger und erhebt sie zu einem der Pfeiler seiner Philosophie. Die Autorin geht auf die aktuellen Debatten in der plotinischen Ethik ein und prüft neue Ergebnisse auf ihre Relevanz für den ethischen Status des künstlerischen Bereichs. Die Plausibilität und Kraft, die die plotinische Analyse der ästhetischen Erfahrung ausmacht, und das Wesen der Kunst und des Künstlers werden deutlich. Schließlich wird untersucht, inwiefern innerhalb der plotinischen Philosophie dem Guten Schönheit zugeschrieben werden kann.

(Text by the author)

 

Inhalt

Danksagung

Einleitung

Kapitel 1: Plotin und das Gute

  1. Einleitung
    • Eudaimonismus
    • Metaphysik
  2. Das neuplatonische Glück
    • Definition
    • Selbsttranszendenz
    • Sorge um die materielle Existenz
  3. Die Tugenden
    • Unterteilung
    • Bürgerliche Tugend
    • Kathartische Tugend
    • Das Verhältnis zwischen der bürgerlichen und der kathartischen Tugend
      • Die bürgerlichen Tugenden als vorbereitendes Stadium
      • Gegenseitige Beeinflussung von hoher und unterer Tugend
      • Sichvertragen von hoher und unterer Tugend
  1. Soziale Dimension
    • Eine Ethik?
    • Das soziale Engagement des Weisen
    • Anwesenheit eines Präferenzkonflikts in der plotinischen Ethik

Kapitel 2: Plotin und das Schöne

  1. Eine Definition der Schönheit
    • Symmetrie
    • Methexis
    • Ideelle Schönheit
  2. Die ästhetische Erfahrung
    • Einfluss der Schönheit auf die Seele
    • Spontaneität der ästhetischen Reaktion
  3. Ästhetik oder Metaphysik des Schönen

Kapitel 3: Kunst und Moral

  1. Einleitung
    • Platons Ablehnung der Künste
    • Plotins Rehabilitation der Künste
  2. Kunst als Nachahmung und als Symbol
    • Symbolische Verweisung
    • Mimesis
    • Die Schönheit des Kunstwerks
  3. Ethischer Status des Künstlers
    • Einleitung
    • Der Künstler als Weiser
  4. Kunst versus Natur
    • Künstlerische und natürliche Schöpfung
    • Die menschliche Abbildung

Kapitel 4: Die Schönheit des Guten

  1. Einleitung
  2. Die Idee der Schönheit
  3. Die frühen Schriften
  4. Das Eros-Argument
  5. Traktate V.8 und V.5
  6. Traktat VI.7.32 – 34

Schluss

Literaturverzeichnis