Platonism and Christian Thought in Late Antiquity examines the various ways in which Christian intellectuals engaged with Platonism both as a pagan competitor and as a source of philosophical material useful to the Christian faith. The chapters are united in their goal to explore transformations that took place in the reception and interaction process between Platonism and Christianity in this period.
The contributions in this volume explore the reception of Platonic material in Christian thought, showing that the transmission of cultural content is always mediated, and ought to be studied as a transformative process by way of selection and interpretation. Some chapters also deal with various aspects of the wider discussion on how Platonic, and Hellenic, philosophy and early Christian thought related to each other, examining the differences and common ground between these traditions.
Platonism and Christian Thought in Late Antiquity offers an insightful and broad ranging study on the subject, which will be of interest to students of both philosophy and theology in the Late Antique period, as well as anyone working on the reception and history of Platonic thought, and the development of Christian thought.
List of contributors
List of abbreviations
LARS FREDRIK JANBY, EYJÓLFUR KJALAR EMILSSON, TORSTEIN THEODOR TOLLEFSEN AND PANAGIOTIS G. PAVLOS
PART I: Methodologies
1 The Agreement of Christianity and Platonic Philosophy from Justin Martyr to Eusebius
2 Augustine and the "Prophecy" of Plato, Tim. 29c3
3 Porphyry’s Daemons as a Threat for the Christians
PART II: Cosmology
4 Patristic Reflections on Formless Matter
5 Plotinus’ Doctrine of Badness as Matter in Ennead I.8. 
EYJÓLFUR KJALAR EMILSSON
6 Proclus, Philoponus, and Maximus: The Paradigm of the World and Temporal Beginning
TORSTEIN THEODOR TOLLEFSEN
PART III: Metaphysics
7 Christ and Pythagoras: Augustine’s Early Philosophy of Number
LARS FREDRIK JANBY
8 The Impact of Ὁμοούσιον on the Divine Ideas
DANIEL J. TOLAN
9 Theurgy in Dionysius the Areopagite
PANAGIOTIS G. PAVLOS
10 On the Meaning of Hierarchy in Dionysius the Areopagite
DIMITRIOS A. VASILAKIS
11 The Doctrine of Immanent Realism in Maximus the Confessor
12 That and How Perichōrēsis Differs from Participation: The Case of Maximus the Confessor
JORDAN DANIEL WOOD
PART IV: Ethics
13 Apophaticism in the Search for Knowledge: Love as a Key Difference in Neoplatonic and Christian Epistemology
E. BROWN DEWHURST
14 The Origin of Passions in Neoplatonic and Early Christian Thought: Porphyry of Tyre and Evagrius Ponticus
15 Augustine on Eudaimonia as Life Project and Object of Desire
The Studies in Philosophy and Theology in Late Antiquity series focuses on major theologians, not as representatives of a 'tradition', whether Christian or classical, but as individuals immersed in the intellectual culture of their day. Each book concentrates on the arguments, not merely the opinions, of a single Christian writer or group of writers from the period A.D 100-600 and compares and contrasts these arguments with those of pagan contemporaries who addressed similar questions.
By study of political, social, and cultural milieu, contributors to the series show what external factos led to the convergence or divergence of Christianity and pagan thought in particular localities or periods. Pagan and Christian teachings are set out in a clear and systematic form, making it possible to bring to light the true originality of the author's thought and to estimate the value of his work for modern times.
This high profile research series offers an important contribution to areas of contemporary research in the patristic period, as well as providing new links into later periods, particularly the Medieval and Reformation.