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The Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism


Paolo Colizzi - Lent 2024

Paolo Colizzi is a PhD student in Philosophy at Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele in Milan. He spent research stays at the De Wulf-Mansion Centre for Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance Philosophy at KU Leuven. He is a Visiting Scholar at the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism from January 2024 until June. 

Colizzi’s research interests are broadly focused on the Neoplatonic tradition and its metamorphoses, with a particular emphasis on Late Antiquity and the Renaissance. He is the author of numerous publications and has participated in conferences in Italy, Europe, and America. 

His research on Neoplatonism started from the study of Proclus, with particular reference to his metaphysical use of the symbol of the androgyne and its implications on the conception of matter and its relation to evil. He has also dedicated a monograph to this theme (Il sesso di Dio. Proclo e il simbolo dell’androgino, Mimesis, Milano-Udine 2021). He then studied the relationship between Proclus and Dionysius the Areopagite, thus delving into the most significant reception of Proclus’ metaphysics within Christian Platonism. Another monograph, currently being finalised, is dedicated to a systematic study of the relationship between Proclus and Dionysius. 

Colizzi’s doctoral project focuses on Proclus’ and Dionysius’ influence on Nicholas of Cusa. Thus, this research is the last link in a trialogical quest that aims to lead to a renewed understanding of Proclus’ Neoplatonism and the significance of its metamorphoses for the history of metaphysics. Further fields of his research are related to the relations of the Neoplatonic tradition with German Romanticism, with a focus on Friedrich Creuzer.

Richard Parry - Lent 2024

Richard is the director of Llyfrgell Newydd / The New Library in south Wales and founder of Coleridge Cymru, the cultural facilitation trust which explores the dynamism, breadth and wealth of human relationship in Wales. 

He is researching and developing Relational Wales, a new relational framework for Welsh public life carrying special emphasis for The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act (2015) and the need for imaginative and creative societies, climate sensitive economies and the centrality of social justice. 

As an artist he has performed across Europe in theatre and opera, created carnivals, delivered public art celebrating Chartist history in Wales and created antemasques at the National Museum of Wales, Rhode Island School of Design, USA and the French Embassy in London. He has collaborated with the artist Ivor Davies and commissioned work from Bragod presented in the 2021 Turner Prize. Between 2013 and 2016 Richard developed and delivered the 80-day touring Coleridge in Wales Festival involving communities and national institutions. 

Richard convened and led the 2023 academic conference Tillich Today – the Two Roots of Political Thinking bringing together international philosophers and leading Welsh politicians from all political parties. The conference helped shape the successful community response to far-right extremist agitation in Llantwit Major, celebrated widely by the national media, led by public narratives of hospitality, kindness and compassion. He has published J. W. Rogerson’s collected essays Cultural Landscapes and the Bible and given papers and addresses at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities and the Royal Geographic Society. 


Daniele Iezzi - Michaelmas 2023

Dr. Daniele Iezzi is based at University Vita-Salute San Raffaele of Milan where he is currently completing a doctoral dissertation about the anthropology of the Platonic-Christian treatise De natura hominis by the Syriac Nemesius of Emesa. His research focuses on the heritage of ancient philosophical tradition in late ancient Christian theology and patristics, as well as the history of ideas of modern authors such as Eric R. Dodds and Werner Jaeger.

He gave seminars and attended as speaker in conferences in Italy, Europe and United States.

Dr. Iezzi has been Visiting scholar at the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism under the supervision of Prof. Douglas Hedley between the end of 2022 and the first half of 2023.


Christophe Porot - Michaelmas 2023

Christophe Porot did his undergraduate studies in Intellectual History at St. Olaf College before transitioning to philosophy for post-graduate studies at Oxford University and Harvard University. He is now a PhD researcher in Philosophy at Paris 1 Sorbonne University. He is a recipient of the Dean's Fellowship at Harvard, has edited/proof read for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy along with books published by Oxford University Press, been a managing editor (under Charles Taliaferro) for Wiley-Blackwell’s Religious Studies Review, won state championships in collegiate debate, received a CURI research grant to explore early modern science in a philosophical context, and currently has 18 publications. His single and co-authored published work ranges from an analytic defense of theism (European Journal for Philosophy of Religion), a recent cross cultural philosophy of religion paper on Ibn Tufayl and Ralph Cudworth (Journal of Philosophical Theological Research), an analysis of Donald Davidson (RIA University Press), a Wiley-Blackwell's Encyclopedia entry on Ralph Cudworth, and several public philosophy pieces published by Open Court Press and Carus Books (including on Pokémon and Philosophy, Mr. Robot and Philosophy, Captain America vs Iron Man, etc.). He is currently working on the intersection between ethics, liberty, and philosophy of religion (especially trying to rehabilitate the ethical theory of Imitatio Dei) and his broader interests include philosophy of race, public philosophy, and history of philosophy. To continue his work in Public Philosophy he founded and runs a 700+ member discussion group online  (Philosophy Uncorked) and works as a Philosophy Coach with people looking to explore existential and ethical questions arising in their life. As someone who has experienced and recovered from significant health issues which led to three years hospitalized, he is very sympathetic to the value of incorporating life experience into philosophical reflections and purposes and is often meditating on the ways experience and reasoning blend to generate insights. 


Marc-Thilo Glowacki

Marc-Thilo Glowacki - first-year student of M.A. program in Classical Studies at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. He also studied Catholic theology at the same university. Areas of interest: Greek literature, Greek religion (sacrifices and rites), ancient philosophy, early Christian and Patristic literature, ancient and medieval Christian theology. Current research project: “Light, sky and stars – cosmos and astronomical elements in late antique religious poetry and its theological use”, as a part of the grant “Study@Research”, funded by the program “Initiative of Excellence - Research University”.


Andreea-Maria Lemnaru

Dr. Andreea-Maria Lemnaru holds a PhD in Philosophy of Paris Sorbonne University, co-directed in Religious Studies by the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes. 

She has published multiple studies on Neoplatonic metaphysics, cosmology and eschatology (especially in Iamblichus and Porphyry), religious experience as well as female metaphysical principles and deities, with a methodological emphasis on the sacralization of nature.

Her doctoral research on theurgy in late-antique Neoplatonism (focusing on Iamblichus's De Mysteriis, the Chaldean Oracles, the Greek Magical Papyri and the Hermetica), to be published in both English and French, was funded by the Laboratoire d'Excellence RESMED.

Lemnaru is the lead editor of two forthcoming collective volumes, one dedicated to the philosophical representations of the afterlife in Late Antiquity, pagan and Christian, and the other to religious initiatory experience in Neoplatonism. 

Particularly interested in the limits between religion, magic and mysticism and in the concepts which bind late antique pagan to early Christian philosophy, she is a native French speaker, fluent in English, Italian, Spanish, Romanian and German, who reads Greek and Latin and has notions in Hieroglyphic Egyptian.


Monserrat Cabrera Zapata

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 philosophical role of the body in mid to late medieval Christianity as well as its place in religious practice, with a concentration on the way mystic experiences shape religious communities and belief systems.

During her time in the Centre for the Study of Platonism, she’s studying the dialogue of affective mysticism inspired by St Bernard and speculative mysticism, strongly influenced by Neoplatonism, within the Friends of God’s theology. Her visit to the Centre nourishes her otherwise mostly anthropo-historical work with a strong philosophical perspective and curiosity for the platonic heritage within the religious and academic communities.

For further information: 


Anne Käfer - Michaelmas 2018

Professor Anne Käfer is based at the University of Münster. She is a professor for Systematic Theology. Her research focuses on the theology of Friedrich Schleiermacher and the reception of Schleiermacher’s theology in the last two hundred years.

Professor Käfer has been collaborating closely with members of the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism since Michaelmas term 2018. Together with Professor Hedley and Dr Mihai, she ran seminars to the theology and philosophy of thinkers like Schelling and Kant who were well-known by Schleiermacher.


Kathrin Stepanow - Lent 2018- Michaelmas 2018

Dr Kathrin Stepanow is based at the University of Duisburg-Essen, where she submitted and defended her doctoral thesis in Systematic Theology under the supervision of Professor Dr Ralf Miggelbrink in 2019. Her research focuses on the act of iterative doubting and its theological legitimacy. 

Thanks to a funding by the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, Dr Stepanow visited the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism various times. In Lent Term 2017, she presented her research in Dr Christian Hengstermann’s Seminar ‘Religion and Philosophy in Origenism Old and New’. Most recently, she attended Cambridge as a scholar in residence from April to December 2018. Alongside the members of the Centre, she participated in weekly reading groups and seminars by Professor Dr HedleyProfessor Dr Käfer and Dr Mihai, such as the Plotinus, Eriugena and Schelling reading seminars.


Thomas Hanke - Michaelmas 2017-Lent 2019

Professor Thomas Hanke is based at Sankt Georgen Graduate School for Philosophy and Theology, Frankfurt. His research focuses on the period of the so-called classical German philosophy in the decades around 1800. He has published on Kant and Hegel in particular.

Professor Hanke has been collaborating closely with members of the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism since Michaelmas term 2017. Drawing on the facilities of the Centre, he has dedicated his current research to the issue whether and to what extent the thought of the Cambridge Platonists might have had an impact on some of the German Idealists. 

Thanks to a funding by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Professor Hanke is present in Cambridge during Lent term 2019. Together with Professor Hedley and Dr Mihai, he runs a Seminar, which focuses on passages from Hegel’s lectures on the history of philosophy and on the philosophy of religion, comparing them with passages from Ralph Cudworth’s masterpiece The True Intellectual System of the Universe.


Karen Felter - Michaelmas 2017-Easter 2018

Karen Felter is a third year PhD fellow at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Dr. Alfons Fürst. Her research focuses on Anne Conway (1631-1679) and her understanding of the relation between spirit and body. Karen has visited the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism several times since she began her studies, most recently as a scholar in residence from October 2017 - April 2018. Here she worked alongside the members of the Centre and participated in weekly reading groups and seminars. In collaboration with Professor Hedley she arranged a workshop on Anne Conway in March 2018. 

Her project is part of the ITN “The History of Human Freedom and Dignity in Western Civilization” and funded by European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 676258.


Latest news

Talk | Sean McGrath, 'Spirit of Nature / Spirit of God: The Late Schelling's Rethinking of the World Soul' | 1st April 2024

22 April 2024

On Wednesday 1st April 2024, the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism will host Prof. Sean McGrath, who will deliver a talk 'Spirit of Nature / Spirit of God: The Late Schelling's Rethinking of the World Soul'. This event will take place in the Runcie Room of the Faculty of Divinity, beginning at 5pm (UK time). The...

Talk | Andrea Frost, 'On the Philosophy of Wine' | 13th March 2024

11 March 2024

On Wednesday 13th March 2024, the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism will host Andrea Frost, who will deliver a talk 'On the Philosophy of Wine'. This event will take place in the Runcie Room of the Faculty of Divinity, beginning at 5pm (UK time).

Call for Papers | Platonism and Neoplatonism Unit, American Academy of Religion | 2024 Conference, 23rd-26th November, San Diego

25 January 2024

Call for Papers Platonism and Neoplatonism Unit, American Academy of Religion 2024 Conference, 23-26 November, San Diego Nature and the Platonic Tradition The Platonic tradition has, throughout history, offered a radically alternative understanding of the relationship between humans and nature and between humans and non-...

Talk | Richard Temple, 'Symbolic Images of Cosmic Descent in Icons' | 4th March 2024

16 January 2024

On Monday 4th March 2024, the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism will host Dr Richard Temple, who will deliver a talk 'Symbolic Images of Cosmic Descent in Icons'. This event will take place in the Runcie Room of the Faculty of Divinity, beginning at 5pm (UK time). The Zoom link can be found below: https://us06web...

Talk | Johannes Niederhauser, 'Plato's Mythologia: On the Relationship between Mythos and Logos in Plato' | 19th February 2024

16 January 2024

On Monday 19th February 2024, the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism will host Dr Johannes Niederhauser, who will deliver a talk, 'Plato's Mythologia: On the Relationship between Mythos and Logos in Plato'. This event will take place in the Runcie Room of the Faculty of Divinity, beginning at 5pm (UK time). To...