Christian Platonism

Rediscovering Ancient Wisdom

Plato Christianus – Christian Platonists and Neoplatonists

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Christian Platonism and Neoplatonism (Part 1)

This shows a list of Christian Platonist or Neoplatonist philosophers through the Middle Ages (Part 2 will consider those of the Renaissance and later).

A fuller list, with hyperlinks and showing important writings of each person listed can be found on the web page:

Christian Platonists and Neoplatonists

The reader would be better served by following the link above; the present post is made because, as a result of recently changing domain names, the major search engines are not currently listing pages on my website.

Christian Platonists and Neoplatonists

The following is a list of Christian philosophers, theologians, and writers with Platonist/Neoplatonist interests or influences. Their main works, and especially those relevant to the topic of Christian Platonism, are also shown (but not systematically).

“Platonic influence” is broadly defined here; a writer may be both influenced by Plato and at the same time very critical of specific Platonic or Neoplatonic tenets.

Note the literal explosion of interest in Christian Platonism during the Renaissance, followed by a striking absence from 1700 until the 20th century. The latter reflects several factors: the Reformation, the Age of Reason, the Industrial Revolution, and the modern empiricist- materialistic worldview. In a post-modern world we may expect to see Renaissance humanism and mysticism re-emerge, and along with them Platonism and Christian Platonism.

Patristic Era

St. Justin Martyr (100 – 165)
Marcus Minucius Felix? (3rd century)
St. Methodius of Olympus (d. c. 311)
St. Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 263 – c. 339)
Arnobius of Sicca (fl. c. 300; North African)
Lactantius (c. 250 -c. 325; North African; student of Arnobius; Platonist, Epicurean, Stoic influences) Alexander of Lycopolis (fl. c. 300; Egyptian)

Alexandrian Christianity

Athenagoras of Athens (c. 133 – 190)
St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 – c. 215)
Ammonius Saccas? (d. c. 240; possible Christian; see St. Jerome, On Illustrious Men 55)
Origen (c. 185 – 254; heard Ammonius Saccas?; knew Plotinus?)
Heraclas (associate of Origen; auditor of Ammonius Saccas?)
St. Athanasius (c. 293 – 373; Bishop of Alexandria)
Didymus the Blind (Didymus Caecus; c. 313 – c.398)

Cappadocian Fathers (next three)

ST. GREGORY OF NYSSA (c. 335 – c. 394)
St. Basil of Caesarea (c. 329 – 379)
St. Gregory of Nazianzus (the Theologian; c. 330 – c. 389)

Evagrius Ponticus (345 – 399) [Dysinger] [Prodromos]
Synesius of Cyrene (c. 373 – c. 414; bishop; pupil of Hypatia)
Nemesius of Emesa (4th century)
St. Theodoret of Cyrus (c. 393 – c. 457; bishop)

Latin Christian Neoplatonists

Calcidius/Chalcidius? (4th century)
Marius Victorinus (c.300 – c.370) [ Migne Patrologia Latina]
St. Ambrose of Milan (c. 338 – 397)
ST. AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO (354 – 430)
Boethius (St. Severinus Boethius; c. 470 – 524)

Late Greek/Eastern Era Christian Neoplatonists

School of Gaza

* Aeneas of Gaza (d. c. 518; student of Neoplatonist Hierocles; founder of Gaza school)
* Procopius of Gaza (c. 465 – c. 538; sophist)
* Zacharias Scholasticus (‘of Rhetor’; c. 465 – c. 536; bishop; brother of Procopius)
* Choricius of Gaza (fl. c. 510)

Leontius of Byzantium (‘the Hermit’; 475 – 543)

Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (450? – 530?; Syrian?)
John of Scythopolis (fl. 540; bishop; early commentator on Pseudo-Dionysius)
Theodore Askidas (or Ascidas; fl. c. 550; archbishop of Caesarea in Cappodocia; Origenst)
Domitian of Ancyra (6th century; Origenist)
Stephen bar Sudaili (fl. 500; Syrian; Origenest; is often associated with Ps.-Dionysius)

John Philoponus (490 – c. 570; Alexandrian/Byzantine; pupil of Neoplatonist Ammonius)
Elias (fl. 575?; Alexandrian; pupil of Neoplatonist Olympiodorus)
David (fl. 575?; Alexandrian)
Stephanus of Alexandria (fl. 630?)
St. Maximus the Confessor (c. 580 – 662; influenced by Pseudo-Dionysius)
Theodorus of Raithu (7th century; friend of St. Maximus)
Anastasius Sinaita (7th century)

Islamic Middle East

St. John of Damascus (John Damascene; c. 676 – 749)
Theodore Ab Qurrah (750 – 820; disciple of St. John of Damascus)
Catholicos Timothy I (Timothy of Bagdhad; 728 – 823; Nestorian)
Al-Bitriq (8th century; Melkite; translated the Timaeus)
Hunayn ibn Ishaq (808 – 837; Nestorian)

School of Baghdad Peripatetics (c. 870 – c. 1023). Muslim and Christian members.

Abu Bishr Matta (d. 940; Nestorian; founded School of Baghdad)
Yahya Ibn ‘Adi (893 – 974; Jacobite; studied with al-Farabi)
Ibn al-Tayyib (1000 – 1050; Nestorian; numerous commentaries on the Bible)

Severus ibn al-Muqaffa (d. 987; Coptic bishop)

Middle Ages (East)

Leo the Mathematician (c. 790 – after 869)
Arethas of Caesarea (c. 860 – c. 944; Arethas of Patras; archbishop of Caesarea; disciple of Photius)
Michael Psellus (11th century; Byzantine; re-introduced Plato; admired Proclus; commented on Aristotle)
John Italus (Byzantine; student of Psellus)
Eustratius of Nicaea (c. 1060 – 1120; Byzantine; Metropolitan of Nicaea; pupil of Italus; Neoplatonic influenced; commentator on Aristotle)
Michael of Ephesus (12th century; Byzantine; Neoplatonic influenced; commentator on Aristotle)
Theodore Metochites (1270 – 1332; Byzantine)
Nicephoros Gregoras (c. 1295 – 1360; Byzantine; student of Metochites)
St. Gregory Palamas (1296 – 1359; parts of Platonic/Neoplatonic asceticism, via Origen, the Desert and Cappadocian Fathers, Pseudo-Dionysius, etc. becomes absorbed into Hesychasm?)

Middle Ages (West)

John Scotus Eriugena (c. 815 – 877; translated Pseudo-Dionysius)
St. Anselm of Canterbury (Augustinian; 1033 – 1109)  [Hopkins]
William of Champeaux (c. 1070 – 1122; studied with St. Anselm)
Peter Abelard (1079 – 1142)
Suger of Saint Denis (1081 – 1151; studied Ps.-Dionysius; influenced Gothic cathedral architecture)
Hugh of Balma (12th century) [Hopkins]
School of Chartres

* Bernard of Chartres (Bernardus Sylvestris; d. before 1124?; Neoplatonist)
– studied the Timaeus
– De Mundi Universitate

* Thierry of Chartres (d. c. 1150; brother of Bernard?)
– In Hexaemeron (a Genesis commentary with reference to the Timaeus)

* Gilbert of Poitiers (Gilbert de la Porrée; 1070 – 1154; student of Bernard)

* William of Conches (c. 1090 – after 1154)

* John of Salisbury (c. 1115 – 1176; bishop; student of Gilbert of Poitiers)

Bl. Isaac of Stella (Isaac D’étoile; c. 1100 – c. 1169; France; Cistercian monk; argued for synthesis of Neoplatonic and Aristotelian philosophies)
Alcher of Clairvaux (12th century)
Henry Aristippus (fl. 1150; Italian)
Richard of St. Victor (? – 1173)
Alain de Lille (c. 1128 – 1202; French)
David of Dinant (c. 1160 – c. 1217; influenced by Eriugena)
Amalric of Bene (Amalric of Chartres; Amaury; d. c. 1205; influenced by Eriugena; pantheist theories)
William of Auvergne (c. 1180 – 1249; Bishop of Paris)

The Franciscan School of Paris [more]

* Alexander of Hales (1185/86 – 1245)
* John of la Rochelle (1200 – 1245)
* St. Bonaventure (1221 – 1274)
* Walter of Bruges (c. 1227 – 1307)
* William De La Mare (d. c. 1285)
* Matthew of Aquasparta (c. 1235 – 1302)
* Pierre Jean Olieu (1248/49 – 1298)

Henry of Ghent (c. 1217 – 1293; active in Paris, studied at Cologne school)

William of Moerbeke (c. 1215 – 1286; Flemish; translated Proclus)

Oxford Franciscan School

* Robert Grosseteste (c. 1175 – 1253)
* Thomas of York (c. 1220 – c. 1270?)
* Roger Bacon (1214 – 1294)
* John Peckham (c. 1220 – 1292; Archbishop of Canterbury)
* Richard of Middletown (c. 1249 – 1302)
* Bl. John Duns Scotus (c. 1266 – 1308; Franciscan)
* William of Ockham (c. 1285 – c. 1348)

Dominican School of Cologne

* St. Albert the Great (Albertus Magnus; 1193 – 1280; bishop)
* Theoderic of Freiberg (Thierry of Freiburg, Dietrich of Freiberg; c. 1250 – c. 1310)  [De Wulf]
* Meister Eckhart (Johannes Eckhart; c. 1260 – c. 1327)
* Berthold of Moosburg (? – c. 1361)
* Ulrich of Strasburg (c. 1225 – 1277)

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274)
Witelo (c. 1230 – c. 1300; Polish)
Ramon Llull (1232 – 1315; Spanish; Neoplatonist ideas; syncretic)

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Written by John Uebersax

August 23, 2009 at 7:34 pm

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