skip to content

The Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism


As is testified by the Delphic imperative in Plato’s own First Alcibiades, the required first reading in the late antiquecursus Platonicus, Platonism is a philosophy of subjectivity. It charters both the soul’s procession from and return to God as it re-discovers its original intellectual nature in discursive reasoning and intuitive vision. The Platonic notion of the soul as an image of God exerted seminal influence upon early Christianity and medieval and early modern concepts of the finite mind. Likewise, German Idealism throughout bears the imprint of Plato’s rational psychology. It continuesto be a source of insight in modern conceptions of conscious life and subjectivity. Based on Beierwaltes’ analyses of Plotinus’ notion of the self in Selbsterkenntnis und Erfahrung der Einheit of 1991 and Das wahre Selbst of 2001, the sixth seminar will explore concepts of human and divine selfhood in the Platonic tradition.

The Beierwaltes Seminars on Christian Platonism, hosted by the Cambridge Centre twice a year, revolve around key concepts of Platonism and their transformation in Christian philosophy from the Alexandrians Clement and Origen to the present day. After reading and discussing excerpts from the work of the eminent German scholar Werner Beierwaltes (translated into English for the first time), both PhD students and postdocs give papers on their current research on Origen and Christian Platonism. Everyone interested in and working on Platonism is cordially invited to take part.


Guest Speaker: Prof. Schmidt-Biggemann (Berlin), 'Shelling’s Theology and Heidegger’s Godless Revelation'. Click here, for poster.

Click here for the call for papers, here for the final programme, and here for a translated section from Werner Beierwaltes' 'Das wahre Selbst. Studien zu Plotins Begriff des Geistes und des Einen' (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 2001) Pp. 9–15, which will be read at the beginning of the day.


Talk on the 24th at 5pm in the Divinity Faculty's Lightfoot Room, seminar on the 25th in Clare College's Thirkill Room.


Please contact:

Prof. Douglas HEDLEY (, Dr Adrian MIHAI ( or Dr Christian HENGSTERMANN (

Monday, 24 February, 2020 - 09:00 to Tuesday, 25 February, 2020 - 19:00
Contact email: 

Latest news

Assistant Professorship - Lincoln Christian University

21 April 2021

Fellow of the Centre appointed as Assistant Professor of Theology and Philosophy

Scholar in Residence - Monserrat Cabrera Zapata

15 April 2021

Monserrat Cabrera Zapata is based at the School for Advanced Studies in Social Studies (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales - EHESS) in Paris, where she works under the supervision of Professor Pierre-Antoine Fabre in the department of “Sciences Sociales des Religions”. Her research is centred upon the...