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18 - Sophia and the World Soul

from Part III - Engagements

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 July 2022

Alexander J. B. Hampton
Affiliation:
University of Toronto
Douglas Hedley
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
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Summary

The idea of the world soul is a distinctive Platonic doctrine. It is particularly significant in late Antique thought, the 12th century Renaissance, the Italian Renaissance. It is transmitted via the Cambridge Platonists, mystical pietism, Cabbala and the Spinoza revival to German Romantic period and the great age of Russian literature. Historically, it has been either loosely associated with or even identified with the Divine Sophia. This Divine Wisdom itself has a complex reception history, and constitutes a conspicuous feminine image of the Divine, and is relevant to recent discussions about the intellectual inheritance of Western Christian thought and the ecological crisis.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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References

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