Tuesdays, 5.45–7.30 p.m.
Warburg Institute, Classroom 2 (15 November 2017), then Classroom 1 (following Tuesdays)
In this seminar series we will discuss the Reply to Porphyry (De mysteriis) of Iamblichus of Chalcis (c.245–c.325 CE), the most influential Platonic philosopher of late antiquity after Plotinus. In his Reply of the Master Abamon to Porphyry’s Letter to Anebo, he answers his teacher’s questions and criticisms on theurgy, a ritual process intended to unite the human soul with the divine. This work, the foremost ancient pagan philosophical treatment of religious ritual, ‘magic’ and divination, influenced Christian sacramental theology and early modern occult philosophy through Pseudo-Dionysius and Marsilio Ficino.
After an introduction to Iamblichus in the first week, we will discuss the Reply to Porphyry in ten further weekly sessions, using Iamblichus, On the Mysteries, tr. Emma C. Clarke, John M. Dillon and Jackson P. Hershbell. No particular knowledge of Platonism or ancient Greek is required.
For further information please contact Merlin Cox: (firstname.lastname@example.org).