By Anna Marmodoro, Irini-Fotini Viltanioti
Is strength the essence of divinity, or are divine powers particular from divine essence? Are they divine hypostases or are they divine attributes? Are powers resembling omnipotence, omniscience, and so forth. modes of divine task? How do they take place? during which approach do we recognize them? Is there a multiplicity of gods whose powers fill the cosmos or is there just one God from whom all power(s) derive(s) and whose power(s) permeate(s) every thing? those are questions that turn into critical to philosophical and theological debates in past due Antiquity (roughly resembling the interval moment to the 6th centuries). at the one hand, the Pagan Neoplatonic thinkers of this period postulate a fancy hierarchy of gods, whose powers exhibit the limitless energy of the ineffable One. nevertheless, Christians proclaim the lifestyles of just one God, one divine energy or one "Lord of all powers."
Divided into major sections, the 1st a part of Divine Powers in past due Antiquity examines elements of the suggestion of divine strength as constructed by way of the 4 significant figures of Neoplatonism: Plotinus (c. 204-270), Porphyry (c. 234-305), Iamblichus (c.245-325), and Proclus (412-485). It specializes in a facet of the proposal of divine energy that has been up to now fairly ignored within the literature. half investigates the suggestion of divine strength in early Christian authors, from the recent testomony to the Alexandrian college (Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Athanasius the good) and, additional, to the Cappadocian Fathers (Basil the good, Gregory of Nyssa), in addition to in a few of these authors' resources (the Septuagint, Philo of Alexandria). the conventional view has a tendency to miss the truth that the Bible, quite the hot testomony, was once at the very least as very important as Platonic philosophical texts within the shaping of the early Christian pondering the Church's doctrines. when tough the obtained interpretation via redressing the stability among the Bible and Greek philosophical texts, the essays within the moment portion of this ebook however argue for the philosophical worth of early Christian reflections at the idea of divine energy. the 2 teams of thinkers that every of the sections care for (the Platonic-Pagan and the Christian one) proportion mostly an analogous highbrow and cultural historical past; they're interested by an analogous basic questions; they usually usually have interaction in additional or much less public philosophical and theological discussion, at once influencing one another.