Neoplatonism - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

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Development of Neoplatonic Theories

Post-Plotinian Neoplatonism developed in four stages, largely through modifying the Plotinian structure.

  1. The first stage is the teaching of the disciples, Porphyry, Amelius, and Eustochius. Most influential was Porphyry (c. 234–c. 305), who taught a more monistic philosophy than that of Plotinus by conflating the hypostases into a unity of being, life, intelligence, thus departing from Plotinian subordinationism.
  2. The fourth-century Syrian and Pergamene schools were influenced by the teaching of Iamblichus (d. 326) that theurgy (ritual magic), invoking demons rather than philosophizing, was the way to God. Iamblichus and followers rejected Plotinus's doctrine of the undescended part of the soul and stressed a need for divine help to reach the Intelligible World. Julian the Apostate (332–363) sought to downgrade Christianity when as a two-year sole Roman emperor he declared Iamblichus's version of Neoplatonism to be the State religion.
  3. During the predominance of the fifth and sixth...

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This section contains 2,077 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Neoplatonism Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Religion
Neoplatonism from Encyclopedia of Religion. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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