The present article focuses on “othodoxy” and political engagement in Neoplatonism from Plotinus to the Emperor Julian. Recent studies (in particular those by E. DePalma Digeser and P. Athanassiadi) convey the idea that Neoplatonic schools were something like scriptural circles completely centred on the question of orthodoxy. Debates and philosophical argumentation were secondary. Furthermore, this religious and “ideological” attitude was closely connected to the political engagement of some Neoplatonic philosophers. Yet such conclusions are unwarranted. The first section of this paper focuses on the school of Ammonius Saccas and seeks to refute DePalma Digeser’s hypothesis that a schism in the community of the Ammonians determined Porphyry’s engagement in the Great Persecution. The second section is devoted to Iamblichus’ immediate posterity. The debates during the 4th century disprove the hypothesis that the charismatic figure of Iamblichus succeeded in transforming Neoplatonism into a scriptural community based on exegetical practices (contra Athanassiadi). Moreover, the antithesis between intolerance and freedom of conscience is an inappropriate way of understanding the debates of that time. The last section focuses on the issue of “political Neoplatonism”. Whereas some Neoplatonic philosophers were interested in politics (this holds in particular for Iamblichus and his followers), this is not enough to vindicate the existence of a specific “Neoplatonist” current of political thought. The Emperor Julian certainly developed a highly interesting political theology, which incorporates Neoplatonic issues, but it is controversial whether this depends on his Neoplatonic background or should rather be seen as Julian’s original achievement.

CHIARADONNA, R. (2014). Tolleranza religiosa e neoplatonismo politico tra III e IV secolo. In U.R. A. Marcone (a cura di), Tolleranza religiosa in età tardoantica IV-V secolo (pp. 37-79). Cassino : Edizioni Università di Cassino.

Tolleranza religiosa e neoplatonismo politico tra III e IV secolo

CHIARADONNA, RICCARDO
2014

Abstract

The present article focuses on “othodoxy” and political engagement in Neoplatonism from Plotinus to the Emperor Julian. Recent studies (in particular those by E. DePalma Digeser and P. Athanassiadi) convey the idea that Neoplatonic schools were something like scriptural circles completely centred on the question of orthodoxy. Debates and philosophical argumentation were secondary. Furthermore, this religious and “ideological” attitude was closely connected to the political engagement of some Neoplatonic philosophers. Yet such conclusions are unwarranted. The first section of this paper focuses on the school of Ammonius Saccas and seeks to refute DePalma Digeser’s hypothesis that a schism in the community of the Ammonians determined Porphyry’s engagement in the Great Persecution. The second section is devoted to Iamblichus’ immediate posterity. The debates during the 4th century disprove the hypothesis that the charismatic figure of Iamblichus succeeded in transforming Neoplatonism into a scriptural community based on exegetical practices (contra Athanassiadi). Moreover, the antithesis between intolerance and freedom of conscience is an inappropriate way of understanding the debates of that time. The last section focuses on the issue of “political Neoplatonism”. Whereas some Neoplatonic philosophers were interested in politics (this holds in particular for Iamblichus and his followers), this is not enough to vindicate the existence of a specific “Neoplatonist” current of political thought. The Emperor Julian certainly developed a highly interesting political theology, which incorporates Neoplatonic issues, but it is controversial whether this depends on his Neoplatonic background or should rather be seen as Julian’s original achievement.
9788883170751
CHIARADONNA, R. (2014). Tolleranza religiosa e neoplatonismo politico tra III e IV secolo. In U.R. A. Marcone (a cura di), Tolleranza religiosa in età tardoantica IV-V secolo (pp. 37-79). Cassino : Edizioni Università di Cassino.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/283702
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