Christian Platonism

A History

Alexander J. B. Hampton & John Peter Kenney (eds.), Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2020


Platonism has played a central role in Christianity and is essential to a deep understanding of the Christian theological tradition. At times, Platonism has constituted an essential philosophical and theological resource, furnishing Christianity with an intellectual framework that has played a key role in its early development, and in subsequent periods of renewal. Alternatively, it has been considered a compromising influence, conflicting with the faith’s revelatory foundations and distorting its inherent message. In both cases the fundamental importance of Platonism, as a force which Christianity defined itself by and against, is clear. Written by an international team of scholars, this landmark volume examines the history of Christian Platonism from antiquity to the present day, covers key concepts, and engages issues such as the environment, natural science and materialism.

(Text from the publisher) 

Table of contents

Christian Platonism

Introduction  Part  p. 1-10

Christianity and Platonism  p. 3-10

I – Concepts  p. 11-140

1.1 – The Perennial Value of Platonism  p. 13-33

1.2 – The Ideas as Thoughts of God  p. 34-52

1.3 – The One and the Trinity  p. 53-78

1.4 – Creation, Begetting, Desire, and Re-Creation p. 79-100

1.5 – The Concept of Theology  p. 101-121

1.6 – Participation: Aquinas and His Neoplatonic Sources  p. 122-140

II – History  p. 141-352

2.1 – The Bible and Early Christian Platonism  p. 143-161

2.2 – Platonism and Christianity in Late Antiquity  p. 162-182

2.3 – Christian Platonism in the Medieval West  p. 183-206

2.4 – Christian Platonism in Byzantium  p. 207-226

2.5 – Renaissance Christian Platonism and Ficino p. 227-245

2.6 Northern Renaissance Platonism from Nicholas of Cusa to Jacob Böhme p. 246-279

2.7 – Christian Platonism in Early Modernity  p. 280-302

2.8 – Christian Platonism in the Age of Romanticism  p. 303-321

2.9 – Christian Platonism and Modernity  p. 322-352

III – Engagements  p. 353-491

3.1 – Christian Platonism and Natural Science  p. 355-380

3.2 – Christian Platonism, Nature and Environmental Crisis  p. 381-407


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