Plato and Theodoret: The Christian Appropriation of Platonic Philosophy and the Hellenic Intellectual Resistance

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 28, 2008 - History - 267 pages
In late antiquity Plato's philosophy became a battlefield between the competing discourses and rival intellectual paradigms represented by Hellenism and Christianity. Focusing on Theodoret of Cyrrhus' Graecarum Affectionum Curatio, Dr Siniossoglou examines the philosophical, rhetorical and political dimensions of the Neoplatonic-Christian conflict of interpretations over Plato. He shows that the apologist's aim was to procure a radical shift in Hellenic intellectual identity through the appropriation of Platonic concepts and terminology. The apologetical strategies of appropriation are confronted with the perspective of the intended audience, the Hellenic elite, by means of comparative discourse analysis. The outcome is a reconstruction of a vital trial of strength between Neoplatonic hermeneutics and the Christian rhetorical mode of rewriting Plato. The volume concludes that the fundamental Hellenic-Christian opposition outweighed any linguistic merging that might have occurred between the two systems, and that this opposition outlived the dominance of Christianity in late antique society and politics.
 

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Contents

but within them there is nothing healthy and their teachings
53
not simply by giving up the religious practices
56
2
62
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66
in Theosophia Tubingensis When a visitor named Theophilus
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3
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The eschatological interpretation of Plato
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Platos nekuiai
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And here Plato contradicts himself For according to what was
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the end of mythological pluralism
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5
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to assert the existence of many gods is to deny
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Kcri hevtoi Kav tco arrrTcp tous piTcopoAEaxas SiapAAcov coSe Asysr
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Two philosophers came to an elder and asked him to
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than the ashes and deader than the deceased51 Theodoret too
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After all as he wrote to another friend I beg
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authority and paragons of its values147 Theodorets Historia
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4
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sectarian misappropriations of scriptural authority he
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and follow4 This is the Christian version of the motif
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says Theodoret to the Hellenes that you will learn the
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the Hellenic opposition to the
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cause and explanation of historical facts and processes in Historia
217
in accordance with Platonic and Aristotelian political philosophy
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Plotinus would encourage his fellowcitizens to tolerate a
230
economy as anything else is thought to be from Plotinus
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About the author (2008)

Niketas Siniossoglou holds a PhD in Ancient Philosophy from the University of Cambridge.

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