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5330Re: Re : [neoplatonism] Neoplatonism & Religion

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  • Goya
    Apr 2, 2012
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      > @Stephen Clark
      > "I now think that the obvious comparison of the CHristian Trinity with
      > Plotinus's three hypostases is wrong. The One and the Nous relate fairly
      > well to the first and second persons, but Plotinus' Soul is not the same
      > as the Christian Spirit: actually Nous serves both as Logos and as
      > Spirit."
      > I agree with this remark. Christians almost always argued against the
      > concept of a world-soul,

      M.C. Not Cyril of Alexandria, who cites Porphyry's Trinity as a precursor
      to the Christian Trinity, and writes (Contra Julianum I, 47), that the
      Holy Spirit is the world soul according to Plato, because the Spirit gives
      life (John 6, 63) and proceeds from the Father, who is alive by virtue of
      the Son.

      often with the argument that movement of planets
      > which oftentimes got associated with the souls or has been seen as an
      > expression of its perfection would be way to simple for a soul. I do have
      > trouble understandig the concept of the Holy Spirit - I try of course to
      > abstract from its theological role. It seems to me to be some kind of
      > unity of the One (God) and the Nous. In Marius Victorinus I found some
      > hints that he for instance sees it as the Nous that realizes the One.
      > But I think it's quite interesting comparing Christian and Neoplatonic
      > views though I am somehow under the impression that from Plotinos or even
      > Ammonios on it is pretty much a one way street where Neoplatonists did
      > never read Christian Trinity as a possible contribuition to their thinking
      > while Christians tokk everthing the could get. But probably this is due to
      > much greater internal struggles among the Christians and probably because
      > their thinking was more metaphorical than the Platonist's.

      M.C. ??????

      > @Michael Chase
      > " it's been argued that Porphyry is also behind the Christian idea of the
      > Trinity."
      > Just a personal remark. I am getting a little suspicious about the mass of
      > stuff that finally get attributed to Porphyrios while at the same time
      > there is not so much left of what he wrote. It looks like a welcome black
      > hole to solve all kinds of philological quests.

      M.C. Perhaps. Yet the authority of Cyril - who was able to read a lot more
      Porphyry than we can, particularly his Philosophos Historia, is of a
      different opinion, and his testimony should not, I think, be dismissed
      without careful scrutiny.

      Cyril's viewpoint has been studied by a number of respectable scholars:

      S.R.C. Lilla, The Neoplatonic Hypostases and the Christian Trinity,
      Studies in Plato and the Platonic Tradition, Aldershot
      in 1997, 127-189 ;
      C. Moreschini, “Una definizione della Trinità nel Contra Iulianum di
      Cirillo d'Alessandria”, in C. Moreschini & G. Menestrina, eds., Lingua e
      teologia nel cristianesimo greca, Atti del convegno tenuto a Trento
      l'11-12 dicembre 1997, Brescia : Morcelliana, 1999 (Religione e Cultura
      11), p. 251-270  

      Michael Chase
      CNRS UPR 76
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