Platonism and Christian Thought in Late Antiquity

Panagiotis G. Pavlos, Lars Fredrik Janby, Eyjólfur Kjalar Emilsson, Torstein Theodor Tollefsen (eds.), London: Routledge, 2019


Platonism and Christian Thought in Late Antiquity examines the various ways in which Christian intellectuals engaged with Platonism both as a pagan competitor and as a source of philosophical material useful to the Christian faith. The chapters are united in their goal to explore transformations that took place in the reception and interaction process between Platonism and Christianity in this period. The contributions in this volume explore the reception of Platonic material in Christian thought, showing that the transmission of cultural content is always mediated, and ought to be studied as a transformative process by way of selection and interpretation. Some chapters also deal with various aspects of the wider discussion on how Platonic, and Hellenic, philosophy and early Christian thought related to each other, examining the differences and common ground between these traditions. Platonism and Christian Thought in Late Antiquity offers an insightful and broad ranging study on the subject, which will be of interest to students of both philosophy and theology in the Late Antique period, as well as anyone working on the reception and history of Platonic thought, and the development of Christian thought.

(Text from the publisher) 

Table of Contents

Introduction – Janby Lars Fredrik, Eyjólfur Kjalar Emilsson, Tollefsen Torstein Theodor, Pavlos Panagiotis G.

Part Part I – Methodologies

Chapter 1

The agreement of Christianity and Platonic philosophy from Justin Martyr to Eusebius – Sebastien Morlet

Chapter 2

Augustine and the “prophecy” of Plato, Tim. 29c3 – Christina Hoenig

Chapter 3

Porphyry’s daemons as a threat for the Christians – Christine Hecht

Part Part II – Cosmology

Chapter 4

Patristic reflections on formless matter – Enrico Moro

Chapter 5

Plotinus’ doctrine of badness as matter in Ennead I.8 [51] 1 – Eyjólfur Kjalar Emilsson

Chapter 6

Proclus, Philoponus, and Maximus. The paradigm of the world and temporal beginning – Torstein Theodor Tollefsen

Part Part III – Metaphysics

Chapter 7

Christ and Pythagoras. Augustine’s early philosophy of number – Lars Fredrik Janby

Chapter 8

The impact of the Ὁμοούσιον on the divine ideas – Daniel J. Tolan

Chapter 9

Theurgy in Dionysius the Areopagite 1 – Panagiotis G. Pavlos

Chapter 10

On the meaning of hierarchy in Dionysius the Areopagite – Dimitrios A. Vasilakis

Chapter 11

The doctrine of immanent realism in Maximus the Confessor – Sebastian Mateiescu

Chapter 12

That and how perichōrēsis differs from participation. The case of Maximus the Confessor – Jordan Daniel Wood

Part Part IV – Ethics

Chapter 13

Apophaticism in the search for knowledge. Love as a key difference in Neoplatonic and Christian epistemology – E. Brown Dewhurst

Chapter 14

The origin of passions in Neoplatonic and early Christian thought. Porphyry of Tyre and Evagrius Ponticus – Adrian Pirtea

Chapter 15

Augustine on eudaimonia as life project and object of desire – Tomas Ekenberg


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