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5347Re: [neoplatonism] Re: Neoplatonism & Religion

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  • Goya
    Apr 5, 2012
      > --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, "Goya" <goya@...> wrote:
      >> Thanks to Professor Schott for some stimulating remarks.
      >> For my part, I've been working for a couple of years now on the debate
      >> between Pagans and Christians over the creation or eternity of the
      >> world.
      >> There are differences, obviously, but I've also found that when the
      >> Christian Philoponus, for instance, argues against the eternity fo the
      >> world, he seems to make use of some doctrines of Porphyry, the
      >> arch-enemy
      >> of Christianity, and it's been argued that Porphyry is also behind the
      >> Christian idea of the Trinity.
      >> I wonder what List-members think of Willy Theiler's argument that Origen
      >> was a student of Ammonios Saccas, that Ammonios' system can be
      >> reconstructed from the parallels between Origen and Hierocles, and that
      >> where Porphyry parts company with Plotinus on doctrinal questions, he is
      >> returning to the views of Ammonius?
      >> Best, Mike
      > Been trying to find the time to respond to this point, Mike. The review I
      > did of a collection of Charrue's essays touches on a couple of ones
      > included there that concern themselves in part with just this subject is
      > in the latest IJPT. For now I would say there is little hope in my opinion
      > of extracting much of Ammonios' at all, despite Theiler's effort, beyond
      > two main points, the importance to him of the agreement of Plato and
      > Aristotle (which comes from Hierocles actually), and one point on the
      > nature of the soul.

      M.C. Why is that?
      > But interestingly enough, the subject of that latter point has come up
      > again for me personally just last week, reading Andrew Smith's most useful
      > chapter on Porphyry in the new Cambridge History, regarding Nemesius' use
      > of Porphry perhaps on the substance of the soul, which may in fact go back
      > to Ammonius, and which Charrue discusses in that same essay. I just need
      > to review the details on all of this, and look at Theiler again, before I
      > say anything else!

      M.C. Yes, I've discussed these matters as well in my article on Nemesius
      for the DPhA.

      The problem with Theiler's hypothesis - apart from the fact that it's
      unverifiable, like much in the history of philosophy, is that it's awfully
      hard to sort out all the Ammonii (there seem to have been two, a Christian
      and and pagan) and and all the Origenes (likewise, there was a Christian
      and a pagan). Schroeder in the ANRW argues that the Christian Origen
      wasn't in Alexandria long enough, or at the right time, to have been
      Plotinus's fellow-student. On the other hand, it's hard to imagine that
      Porphyry (who had studied under two students of Ammonius) was confused
      when he said Origen was born a pagan and converted to Christianity ad
      switched to Paganism, while Ammonius did the reverse.

      Whether or not Origen the Christian actually was a student of Ammonius, I
      do think there are parallels between Origen, Hierocles and Porphyry that
      need to be explained, and none of Theiler's many detractors seems to me to
      have accomplished this.

      Best, Mike
      > Dennis Clark

      Michael Chase
      CNRS UPR 76
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