Eros in Neoplatonism and its Reception

in Christian Philosophy. 

Exploring Love in Plotinus, Proclus and Dionysius the Areopagite

Dimitrios A. Vasilakis, London, Bloomsbury, 2020, 232 p.


A detailed analysis of the fundamental texts on Love (eros) by three key Neoplatonic thinkers, as well as a systematic comparison of them. Showing the ontological importance of eros within the philosophical systems inspired by Plato, Dimitrios A. Vasilakis examines the notion of eros in key texts of the Neoplatonic philosophers, Plotinus, Proclus, and the Church Father, Dionysius the Areopagite. Outlining the divergences and convergences between the three brings forward the core idea of love as deficiency in Plotinus and charts how this is transformed into plenitude in Proclus and Dionysius. Does Proclus diverge from Plotinus in his hierarchical scheme of eros? Is the Dionysian hierarchy to be identified with Proclus’ classification of love? By analysing the Enneads, III.5, the Commentary on the First Alcibiades and the Divine Names side by side, Vasilakis uses a wealth of modern scholarship, including contemporary Greek literature to explore these questions, tracing a clear historical line between the three seminal late antique thinkers.

(Text from the publisher) 

Table of contents

Abstract and Key-words

Chapter 1 Plotinus and Enneads III.5.[50]: “On Love”
1.1. The ontological status of Soul’s Eros
1.2. Potential objections and answers
1.3. Nous and Eros
1.4. Conclusions

Chapter 2 Proclus on the First Alcibiades
2.1. Providential and Reversive eros: Proclus versus Plotinus?
2.2. Locating Eros in the intelligible hierarchy

Chapter 3 Dionysius and the Divine Names
3.1. Divine Eros and its function
3.2. From Christian agape to the Christification of Eros



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