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The Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism

 
Conference | Plotinus and Barfield: Emanation and Evolution | September 2024

On Saturday 14th September, the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism will host a conference devoted to the influence of Neoplatonism on Owen Barfield. This event will take place in the Lightfoot Room, Faculty of Divinity. 

Owen Barfield had been interested in Neoplatonism throughout his long life. One of the aspects of his vehement criticism of materialism and scientism was that “we have transformed Plotinus’s emanation into evolution” and ceased to conceive of progress in terms of ascent and return to “the world of archetypes behind the symbols”. Barfield, however, prophetically saw the reemergence of the cultural interest in the traditional Western metaphysics, when he noticed “an increased and deepened interest in the system of psychology and cosmology (the two were hardly separable) generally called Neoplatonism”. For Barfield, it was a continuous tradition, including as seemingly diverse figures and worldviews as Plotinus, St Augustine, the Kabbalah, Johannes Kepler, William Blake, Friedrich Schelling and Georg Hegel. In the Second Annual Barfield Conference we’d like to delve into Barfield’s relationship with this tradition, whose unquestionable father was Plotinus (204-270 AD). 

Those interested in presenting or participating, please, contact the organizers: jnhipolito@gmail.com, gp515@cam.ac.uk, mateusz.strozynski@amu.edu.pl.

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