Culture and Philosophy in the Age of Plotinus

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Overview

This book offers a survey of the teachings of, and relations between, four leading figures in third-century Platonism: Longinus, Plotinus, Porphyry and lamblichus. It documents and explains the coalescence of Aristotelian and Platonic elements in the Platonic tradition before the 3rd century, considers the effect of the new political environment on these thinkers, and argues that the antagonistic interests of the two older men (Longinus and Plotinus) were combined in the work of the two younger figures (Porphyry ...

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Overview

This book offers a survey of the teachings of, and relations between, four leading figures in third-century Platonism: Longinus, Plotinus, Porphyry and lamblichus. It documents and explains the coalescence of Aristotelian and Platonic elements in the Platonic tradition before the 3rd century, considers the effect of the new political environment on these thinkers, and argues that the antagonistic interests of the two older men (Longinus and Plotinus) were combined in the work of the two younger figures (Porphyry and lamblichus) without sacrifice of coherence, rationality or fidelity to Plato. The authorship of the treatise on the sublime, the question of mysticism in Plotinus and the relation of Neoplatonism to ancient Christianity are among the topics discussed.

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Meet the Author

Mark Edwards is University Lecturer in Patristics at Oxford.

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  • Posted November 23, 2011

    Mark Edwards ¿ A Must Read For Christians And Philosophers Alike

    Mark Edwards is a university lecturer in Patristics at Oxford and I am very keen on his writing style and topics. I would recommend his books to anyone interested in Greek philosophy or Christianity or both. He offers extremely sharp insight into the early Christian Church and the often misunderstood relationship between Christianity and philosophy. Plotinus was a Neoplatonist philosopher writing around 200 AD who found himself in the early days of the battleground that developed in the Roman Empire between the old pagan traditions and the emerging Christian beliefs. Plotinus perhaps deliberately does not expend much effort on Christian beliefs but his work served to inspire one of the great Christian theologians, Augustine of Hippo. I recently completed my MA dissertation on the relationship between Plotinus¿ Neoplatonism and Augustine¿s Christianity and this book along with Edwards¿ Origen against Plato were invaluable. Edwards states that Augustine saw Neoplatonism as a ¿Christless Christianity¿ which should indicate the high esteem in which Augustine viewed the work of Plotinus. This is not a book that solely examines this relationship and focuses on the philosophy that was being taught at this time including the original works of Plato along with Plotinus, Porphyry and Iamblichus. A great read and please follow this up with Edwards¿ Origen against Plato!

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