Reason, Faith and Otherness in Neoplatonic and Early Christian Thought: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Reason, Faith and Otherness in Neoplatonic and Early Christian Thought

1st Edition

By Kevin Corrigan


312 pages

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Hardback: 9781409466871
pub: 2013-09-20

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This book brings together a selection of Kevin Corrigan’s works published over the course of some 27 years. Its predominant theme is the encounter with otherness in ancient, medieval and modern thought and it ranges in scope from the Presocratics-through Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus and the late ancient period, on the one hand, and early Christian thought, especially Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine and, much later, Aquinas, on the other. Among the key questions examined are the relation between faith and reason; the nature of creation and insight, being and existence; literature, philosophy and the invention of the novel; personal, human and divine identity; the problem of evil (particularly here in Dostoevsky’s adaptation of a Platonic perspective); the character of ideas themselves; women saints in the early Church; love of God and love of neighbor; the development of Christian Trinitarian thinking; the strange notion of philosophy as prayer; and the mind/soul-body relation.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Athens, Jerusalem and…: overcoming the exclusivist paradigms of the past; Body and soul in ancient religious experience; Plato’s Symposium and Bakhtin’s theory of the dialogical character of novelistic discourse (with Elena Glazov-Corrigan); Making sense of creative horizons in the thought of Aristotle, Plotinus, and Plato; ‘Solitary’ mysticism in Plotinus, Proclus, Gregory of Nyssa and Pseudo-Dionysius; Syncletica and Macrina: two early Lives of women saints; The problem of personal and human identity; Ousia and Hypostasis in the Trinitarian theology of the Cappadocian fathers: Basil and Gregory of Nyssa; Love of God, love of self, and love of neighbor: Augustine’s critical dialogue with Platonism; The soul-body relation in and before Augustine; Simmias’ objection to Socrates in the Phaedo: harmony, symphony and later Platonic/Patistric responses to the mind/soul-body question; Light and metaphor in Plotinus and St Thomas Aquinas; From Parmenides to Anselm: philosophy as prayer; The irreconcilable opposition between the Platonic and Aristotelian conceptions of soul and body in some ancient and mediaeval thinkers; Ivan’s devil in The Brothers Karamazov in the light of a traditional Platonic view of evil; Religion and philosophy in the Platonic tradition. Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Kevin Corrigan is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Interdisciplinary Humanities at Emory University, USA.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
PHILOSOPHY / History & Surveys / Ancient & Classical
RELIGION / Christianity / General