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The Gods of the Platonic Tradition (2)

A second exploration of the neglected area of Platonism - 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 Emperorship. 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."

This is the second of three linked evenings on this theme: this session will be based around a reading of part of Thomas Taylor's introduction to Proclus' Theology of Plato. A download of the previous session's lecture and this session's reading is available on the Prometheus Trust website (see below). If you missed the last month's session you should be able to pick up the thread of the theme, especially if you read the short download lecture text before this session.

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:

12 October 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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