Panel: Platonism and Christian Thought in Late Antiquity and Byzantium: Rivals, alliances, or merely a continuum?: 18th Annual International Society for Neoplatonic Studies Conference 2020

Submission deadline: January 31, 2020

Conference date(s):
June 10, 2020 - June 14, 2020

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

The American College of Greece
Athens, Greece

Topic areas


NB ! : This is just one of the Conference Panels. For the complete list list of Panels, please check: or open the pdf 'List of Panels', attached below.

Platonism and Christian Thought in Late Antiquity and Byzantium:  Rivals, alliances, or merely a continuum?

Vladimir Cvetkovic and Panagiotis G. Pavlos

In Plato’s Timaeus man’s capacity for receiving is substantial for advancing in the knowledge of the cosmos and the first principles. In the Gospel of St. John, human receptivity is proclaimed as the paramount virtue that allows the Logos to transform human beings into sons of God.

Yet, the discussion on similarities, differences, and the multifaceted, complex relation, between Platonism and Christianity remains most challenging;has Platonism bequeathed Christian thought with anything more than its language and philosophical tools, anything new to the Christian ecclesiastical experience and teaching? Is there any influence of Christianity on Platonism, and, if yes, of what sort? Are there any grounds to speak about a genuine unification of, or even a continuum between, the two movements? Is there such a thing as Christian Platonism at all? 

The aim of this panel is to dive– systematically, historically and with a view to modern relevant debates – into fundamental notions and accounts central to the Platonic and the Christian tradition, such as: autexousion, consubstantiality, essence (ousia), hierarchy, hypostasis (substance), logos, person, freedom and necessity, time and eternity; shedding new light on aspects of anthropology, Christology, cosmology, metaphysics, and trinitarian theology. Special attention, not exclusive though, will be paid to Plotinus, the Cappadocians, Proclus, Dionysius the Areopagite, Philoponus and Maximus the Confessor.

The panel is open to papers that expand the above research questions and focus on transmissions, receptions, rejections, appropriations, transformations, continuities, discontinuities, bifurcations and novelties occurred in Platonism and Christian Thought during their development and encounter in Late Antique and early Byzantine times.

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