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The Gods of the Platonic Tradition

An exploration of the neglected area of Platonic philosophy - its embrace of the Gods and Goddesses of the ancient world.


Plato and the other sages of the Platonic tradition in the ancient world were pagans: they actively promoted communion with the Gods, and in their writings referred to particular Gods and Goddesses in connection with particular cosmic and human activities.

Why was this? Modern commentators often suggest that this was merely cultural conditioning, and an aspect of the Platonic tradition which can safely be ignored. But this upholding of pagan practices continued well into the sixth century AD and so strong was their adherence, that in 529AD the Emperor Justinian forced the closure of the Platonic schools simply because they were the main source of opposition to the contemporary Christian Church and Christianized Imperial power. Perhaps, then, there were good reasons that these philosophers framed their philosophy within the pagan worldview. This lecture and study session will look at the metaphysical and theological basis of the Platonic tradition and explore this largely neglected area of philosophy. We will ask whether a coherent metaphysics is possible without the Gods, and whether human life, both ethical and artistic, is enhanced by a philosophy which affirms that "all things are full of the Gods."

The lecture will be timed at around 30 or so minutes, to allow an extensive discussion afterwards. The evening will be self-contained but for those who are interested we will follow up the lecture with two further sessions in the following two months: one of which will be based on a reading of three pages from Thomas Taylor's introduction to Proclus' Theology of Plato; and the other on a reading of two pages from Proclus' Commentary on the Parmenides of Plato.

No previous experience of formal philosophy is required.

Entrance in free, but donations between £3-5 will be welcomed.

More details on the Prometheus Trust's website: www.prometheustrust.co.uk on the "London Monday Evenings" page.


Speaker(s):

Professor Tim Addey | talks | www

 

Date and Time:

14 September 2015 at 7:30 pm

Duration:

1 hour 30 minutes

 

Venue:

Cecil Sharp House
2 Regentís Park Road
London
NW1 7AY


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Organised by:

The Prometheus Trust
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Tickets:

£5 (concessions £3)

Available from:

Donations at the door.

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