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Colloquium Adamantianum IV - Mark Edwards - Christianity and Philosophy in Late Antiquity

last modified Nov 06, 2019 03:19 PM

Colloquium Adamantianum is a workshop hosted by the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism twice a year. Each of the Colloquia revolves around the research of one pre-eminent contemporary scholar on Origen and the Alexandrian tradition, exploring the Platonist origins of Christian metaphysics. On 12 October 2019, the Centre hosted Prof. Mark Edwards  to discuss his work in these areas. 

In a series of seminal articles and monographs, including a landmark study on Origen against Plato, Mark Edwards investigates the encounter of early Christianity with the religious, philosophical and cultural background of the Greco-Roman world of late antiquity. At the heart of Edward’s work lies the relation of Christian theology with Imperial and late antique Platonism, with Origen and his legacy as the touchstone by which the relation can be tested. Against the background of scholarly debates which tend to regard early Christianity as either Platonist or anti-Platonist, Origen figures in Edwards’ extremely rich and interdisciplinary work as the archetypical example of the distinctive brand of Christian philosophy developed in the Patristic era, always in close connection but never identical with the Platonism of the Schools. Edwards offers robust arguments for the distinction of Origen the Christian from Origen the Neoplatonist. He defends the genuine Christian nature of Origenian thought as being informed by Greek philosophy but firmly rooted in the Jewish-Christian scriptural revelation. And he offers a compelling thesis for the Christianization of ancient lore and culture showing how, in the mind of early Christians, the gospel makes explicit the truths that were dimly intimated in pagan literature, exploring themes like the metamorphoses of late antique philosophy, love, homoousion, dunamis and the spiritual body, in Origen and beyond.


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