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Theurgy and the soul : the Neoplatonism of Iamblichus

Author: Gregory Shaw
Publisher: University Park, Pa. : Pennsylvania State University Press, ©1995.
Series: Hermeneutics, studies in the history of religions.
Edition/Format:   Book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Iamblichus was once considered one of the great philosophers. The Emperor Julian followed Iamblichus's teachings to guide the restoration of traditional pagan cults in his campaign against Christianity. Although Julian was unsuccessful, Iamblichus's ideas persisted well into the Middle Ages and beyond. His vision of a hierarchical cosmos united by divine ritual became the dominant worldview for the entire medieval  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Shaw, Gregory, 1951-
Theurgy and the soul.
University Park, Pa. : Pennsylvania State University Press, c1995
(OCoLC)652536270
Named Person: Iamblichus; Jamblique; Iamblichus, Chalcidensis.; Iamblichus Chalcidensis; Iamblichus
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Gregory Shaw
ISBN: 0271014377 9780271014371
OCLC Number: 31076034
Description: x, 268 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Contents: Introduction: To Preserve the Cosmos --
1. Embodiment in the Platonic Tradition --
2. Matter as Cosmic Instrument --
3. Matter as Obstacle to the Embodied Soul --
4. Theurgy as Demiurgy --
5. The Descent of the Soul --
6. Soul as Mediator --
7. The Constraints of Embodiment --
8. The Freedom of Immortal Bodies --
9. The Paradox of Embodiment --
10. Descending to Apotheosis --
11. Eros and the One of the Soul --
12. Cult and Cosmos --
13. Ritual and the Human Hierarchy --
14. Ritual as Cosmogony --
15. Material Sunthemata --
16. Intermediate Sunthemata: Seeing and Hearing the Gods --
17. Intermediate Sunthemata: Naming the Gods --
18. Noetic Sunthemata: Mathematics and the Soul --
19. Noetic Sunthemata: The Theurgy of Numbers --
20. The Sunthemata of the Sun --
21. The Platonizing of Popular Religion.
Series Title: Hermeneutics, studies in the history of religions.
Responsibility: Gregory Shaw.

Abstract:

Iamblichus was once considered one of the great philosophers. The Emperor Julian followed Iamblichus's teachings to guide the restoration of traditional pagan cults in his campaign against Christianity. Although Julian was unsuccessful, Iamblichus's ideas persisted well into the Middle Ages and beyond. His vision of a hierarchical cosmos united by divine ritual became the dominant worldview for the entire medieval world. Even Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that he expected a reading of Iamblichus to cause a "revival in the churches." But modern scholars have dismissed him, seeing theurgy as ritual magic or "manipulation of the gods." Shaw, however, shows that theurgy was a subtle and intellectually sophisticated attempt to apply Platonic and Pythagorean teachings to the full expression of human existence in the material world.

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