By Edward Butler
Those essays lay the basis for a tradition of philosophical inquiry sufficient to polytheistic or "Pagan" spiritual traditions, together with specifically the non-reductive hermeneutics of delusion and the speculation of the polycentric divine manifold. comprises the formerly released articles "The Theological Interpretation of Myth", "Offering to the Gods: A Neoplatonic Perspective", "Polycentric Polytheism and the Philosophy of Religion", in addition to the formerly unpublished "Neoplatonism and Polytheism" and "A Theological Exegesis of the Iliad, booklet One".
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Those essays lay the foundation for a convention of philosophical inquiry enough to polytheistic or "Pagan" spiritual traditions, together with particularly the non-reductive hermeneutics of delusion and the speculation of the polycentric divine manifold. contains the formerly released articles "The Theological Interpretation of Myth", "Offering to the Gods: A Neoplatonic Perspective", "Polycentric Polytheism and the Philosophy of Religion", in addition to the formerly unpublished "Neoplatonism and Polytheism" and "A Theological Exegesis of the Iliad, e-book One".
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Additional info for Essays on a Polytheistic Philosophy of Religion
Thus in one of his key programmatic statements about the manifold of the Gods or “henads” (meaning “unities”, from to hen, “the One”/“Unity”), Proclus contrasts them with the Forms and, by extension, with beings in general, on just this point: All the henads are in each other and are united with each other, and their unity is far greater than the community and sameness among beings. , 6 G. 15-18. All translations mine. ) 85 beings] there is compounding of forms, and likeness and friendship and participation in one another; but the unity of these former entities [the henads], inasmuch as it is a unity of henads, is far more uniform and ineffable and unsurpassable; for they are all in all of them, which is not the case with the Forms.
But to believe that one has chosen one’s life means to affirm the particular in its very particularity. ), and, on the other hand, the classification of the Gods as this or that type of deity (including the most generic classification of all, that of “Gods” as such), which belongs to the philosoper or “scientist”. Hence Proclus remarks that philosophers speak “about” the Gods (p eri autoh), but not “of each of them him/herself [auto hek aston]. ”31 The distinction here between a “scientific” and an “intellectual” discourse is that between ep istem e, always of the species, and a n o esis, an intuition, as it were, of 11 In Platonis Timaeum com m entaria 1: 103.
Simplicius’s formulation here is not novel, although for this work upon oneself to be seen, not merely in an ontological, but also in an eth ica l light is significant. ) were to be understood in their essences (ontologically) in order that we might know how to live ethically through them. What is Ilie ethical content Simplicius sees in the relationship with the Gods? According to Simplicius, a key point made by Ivpictetus is that we should “obey the things which happen through their [the Gods’] agency, and [quoting Epictetus] ‘yidd to them willingly’ and contentedly, ‘in the belief that they happen by the best judgement’ and by good forethought” (361).