Clark on “Patrides, Plotinus and the Cambridge Platonists”

Stephen R. L. Clark, “Patrides, Plotinus and the Cambridge Platonists,”
British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 20 pgs, Published online: 22 Dec 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09608788.2016.1255179

Discussion of the Cambridge Platonists, by Constantinos Patrides and others, is often vitiated by the mistaken contrasts drawn between those philosophers and late antique Platonists such as Plotinus. I draw attention especially to Patrides’s errors, and argue in particular that Plotinus and his immediate followers were as concerned about this world and our immediate duties to our neighbours as the Cambridge Platonists. Even the doctrine of deification is one shared by all Platonists, though it is also here that genuine differences between pre-Christian and Christian exegesis can be found. All, it can be said, hope and expect to join ‘the dance of immortal love’, but Christian Platonists had a deeper sense of God’s ‘humility’ in His Word’s material and temporal manifestation. Not Olympian Zeus but the Crucified Christ was their preferred image of divine involvement, and their better guide to heaven.

Advertisements