Cambridge Platonist Spirituality

Overview

This volume in the distinguished Classics of Western Spirituality seriespresents a collection of essays, poetry, and treatises by Cambridge Platonists, a movement in philosophical theology that flourished around Cambridge University in the 17th century and left a profound impact on the shape of subsequent religious life in the English speaking world. This school of thought emphasized the great goodness of God, the accord between reason and faith, an integrated life of virtue, ...

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Overview

This volume in the distinguished Classics of Western Spirituality seriespresents a collection of essays, poetry, and treatises by Cambridge Platonists, a movement in philosophical theology that flourished around Cambridge University in the 17th century and left a profound impact on the shape of subsequent religious life in the English speaking world. This school of thought emphasized the great goodness of God, the accord between reason and faith, an integrated life of virtue, and the deep joy of living in concord with God.

In an important introduction, the editors situate the Cambridge Platonist movement in its historical and religious setting: the decades of turbulence and political crises surrounding the English Civil War. They then offer brief biographical portraits of the principal members of the movement: Benjamin Whichcote; Henry More; Ralph Cudworth; John Smith; Peter Sterry; Nathaniel Culverwell; and Anne Conway.

Following the introduction is a representative sample of Cambridge Platonist writings. Scholars and students of 17thcentury England, Christian spirituality of the early modern era, intellectual history, and faith and reason will appreciate this treatment of the spiritual life and work of an often overlooked, but significant, movement.

 

About the Author

Charles Taliaferro, who holds a PhD in philosophy from Brown University, is a professor of philosophy at St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN. He is the author of several books.

Alison J. Teply is currently a visiting scholar at the University of Minnesota.

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What People Are Saying

Sarah Hutton
This well-chosen collection of writings admirably illustrates the religious outlook which underlies the thinking of the Cambridge Platonists. Rooted in their belief in the goodness and love of God, their optimistic view of human nature and their tolerant approach to religious issue have renewed relevance today.
Reader in Renaissance Studies Middlesex University
Victor Nuovo
...a wonderful book that will serve well the interests of religious scholars and of anyone with a deep interest in the cultivation of a religious life.
Senior Research Fellow Harris Manchester College Oxford University
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface
Jaroslav Pelikan

Introduction to Cambridge Platonism

I. A Sermon Preached before the Honorable House of Commons at Westminster, March 31, 1647
Ralph Cudworth

II. The Joy Which the Righteous Have in God
Benjamin Whichcote (1650)

III. The Moral Part of Religion Reinforced by Christianity
Benjamin Whichcote (1651)

IV. Discourse 25
Benjamin Whichcote (1651)

V. Our Conversation Is in Heaven
Benjamin Whichcote (1651)

VI. Aphorisms
Benjamin Whichcote (1651)

VII. The Light of Reason Is Calm and Peaceable
Nathaniel Culverwell (1657)

VIII. The Excellence and Nobleness of True Religion
John Smith (1660)

IX. In Its Nature and Essence
John Smith (1660)

X. The True Way or Method of Attaining to Divine Knowledge
John Smith (1660)

XI. Charitie and Humilitie
Henry More (1647)

XII. In the Diving Dialogues. The Song Concerning Divine Providence, Dialog. 2 Sect. 28
Henry More (1647)

XIII. An Explanation of the Divine Mystery of Godliness Book VIII
Henry More (1660)

XIV. An Explanation of the Divine Mystery of Godliness Book X
Henry More (1660)

XV. A Discourse of the Freedom of the Will
Peter Sterry (1675)

XVI. The Principles of the Most Ancient and Modern Philosophy
Chapter 5
Anne Conway (1690)

Bibliography

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