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By Dylan M. Burns

ISBN-10: 0812245792

ISBN-13: 9780812245790

In the second one century, Platonist and Judeo-Christian notion have been sufficiently pleasant Greek thinker may perhaps claim, "What is Plato yet Moses talking Greek?" 400 years later, a Christian emperor had ended the general public educating of subversive Platonic suggestion. while and the way did this philosophical rupture ensue? Dylan M. Burns argues that the elemental holiday happened in Rome, ca. 263, within the circle of the good mystic Plotinus, writer of the Enneads. teams of debatable Christian metaphysicians referred to as Gnostics ("knowers") frequented his seminars, disputed his perspectives, after which disappeared from the background of philosophy—until the 1945 discovery, at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, of codices containing Gnostic literature, together with types of the books circulated via Plotinus’s Christian competitors. mixing cutting-edge Greek metaphysics and ecstatic Jewish mysticism, those texts describe thoughts for getting into celestial geographical regions, partaking within the angelic liturgy, confronting the transcendent God, or even changing into a divine being oneself. additionally they describe the revelation of an alien God to his decide on, a race of "foreigners" less than the security of the patriarch Seth, whose interventions will eventually culminate in any case of the world.

Apocalypse of the Alien God proposes a thorough interpretation of those long-lost apocalypses, putting them firmly within the context of Judeo-Christian authorship instead of ascribing them to a pagan offshoot of Gnosticism. in response to Burns, this Sethian literature emerged alongside the fault strains among Judaism and Christianity, drew on traditions recognized to students from the lifeless Sea Scrolls and Enochic texts, and finally catalyzed the contention of Platonism with Christianity. Plunging the reader into the tradition wars and school rooms of the excessive Empire, Apocalypse of the Alien God deals the main concrete social and old description on hand of any staff of Gnostic Christians because it explores the intersections of historical Judaism, Christianity, Hellenism, fable, and philosophy.

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This is very strenuous work for modern thinkers who are constantly in the habit of opposing and separating. It is also strenuous work for interpreters of Hegel, where habits of opposing and separating struggle to do justice to Hegel’s practices of differentiating and relating. The most obvious case is how to understand “God” in the final chapter of Hegel’s Phenomenology, but it recurs repeatedly. It is not a matter primarily of ontology, but of logic. Theologians today are wonderfully and imaginatively alive to the problems of comparative ontology.

Absolute Knowing 19 these answers. The history of philosophy, which for Hegel accompanies the history of human cultures, is a history of dissatisfactions with a variety of answers, a history of failed perspectives, and a history of renewed attempts to investigate truth. Hegel generally does not merely describe points of view. He rehearses and performs them. Truth, life, and love are three principal themes in John’s Gospel, and they are the three principal themes in Hegel’s Phenomenology too. They are accompanied by the subsidiary themes of recognition, reconciliation, and service – also obviously Johannine themes.

My conclusions did not turn out quite so neatly, as happens very often when one is interested in the questions answered in the details of texts rather than in overviews of the positions adopted by thinkers. I have found that Hegel “conceives” divine and human action very closely indeed, and that this is because he refuses to think the “being” of God 12 This part of the Phenomenology is not treated in this book. ), The Impact of Idealism, vol. 4: Religion. Introduction 15 independently of thinking the “thinking” of human beings.

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Apocalypse of the Alien God: Platonism and the Exile of Sethian Gnosticism by Dylan M. Burns

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