Religion and Identity in Porphyry of Tyre: The Limits of Hellenism in Late Antiquity

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 28, 2013 - History - 374 pages
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Porphyry, a native of Phoenicia educated in Athens and Rome during the third century AD, was one of the most important Platonic philosophers of his age. In this book, Professor Johnson rejects the prevailing modern approach to his thought, which has posited an early stage dominated by 'Oriental' superstition and irrationality followed by a second rationalizing or Hellenizing phase consequent upon his move west and exposure to Neoplatonism. Based on a careful treatment of all the relevant remains of Porphyry's originally vast corpus (much of which now survives only in fragments), he argues for a complex unity of thought in terms of philosophical translation. The book explores this philosopher's critical engagement with the processes of Hellenism in late antiquity. It provides the first comprehensive examination of all the strands of Porphyry's thought that lie at the intersection of religion, theology, ethnicity and culture.
  

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Contents

Porphyrys taxonomy of the divine
53
Salvation translation and the limits of cult
102
contexts of translation
155
Porphyrys ethnic argumentation
189
Ethnic particularism and the limits of Hellenism
222
transcending particularism
258
translation after Porphyry
300
Annotated table of select fragments
307
Translation of select fragments
331
Works cited
347
Index
372
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About the author (2013)

Aaron Johnson is Assistant Professor of Humanities and Classics at Lee University, working on the intellectual and cultural history of late antiquity. He is also the author of Ethnicity and Argument in Eusebius' Praeparatio Evanglica (2006).

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