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2.4 - Christian Platonism in Byzantium

from II - History

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2021

Alexander J. B. Hampton
University of Toronto
John Peter Kenney
Saint Michael's College, Vermont
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Platonism in Byzantine Christianity is a complex topic since diverse traditions of Platonism had an impact on Byzantine theologians. This chapter considers three central thinkers: Dionysius the Areopagite, St Maximus the Confessor, and St Gregory Palamas. It discusses the ‘diffused Platonism’ of these Christian thinkers whose thought included Platonic doctrines such as the radical transcendence of God, the doctrine of providence, the doctrine of Forms as creative logoi in the mind of the Creator, the Plotinian doctrine of double activity, and the late antique doctrine of procession and conversion. Notions like these were established as parts of a general outlook of Byzantine Christian thought. The chapter concludes with a discussion of John Philoponus and John of Damascus.

Christian Platonism
A History
, pp. 207 - 226
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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