Eros in Neoplatonism and its Reception in Christian Philosophy

By Dimitrios A. Vasilakis

Author: Vasilakis, Dimitrios A. (Adjunct Lecturer, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)

Title: Eros in Neoplatonism and its Reception in Christian Philosophy: Exploring Love in Plotinus, Proclus and Dionysius the Areopagite. London, NY, Oxford, New Delhi, Sydney, Bloomsbury Academic, 2021, 232 pp., ISBN 9781350163850

Showing the ontological importance of eros within the philosophical systems inspired by Plato, this book examines the notion of eros in key texts of the Neoplatonic philosophers, Plotinus, Proclus, and the Church Father, Dionysius the Areopagite. Outlining the divergences and convergences between the three brings forward the core idea of love as deficiency in Plotinus and charts how this is transformed into plenitude in Proclus and Dionysius. Does Proclus diverge from Plotinus in his hierarchical scheme of Eros? Is the Dionysian hierarchy to be identified with Proclus’ classification of love? By analysing the Enneads, III.5, the Commentary on the First Alcibiades and the Divine Names side by side, this monograph provides a full exploration of these crucial questions. Eros in Neoplatonism uses a wealth of modern scholarship, including contemporary Greek literature to provide an original study tracing a clear historical line between three seminal late antique thinkers, situating Proclus as the bridge between the pagan Neoplatonism of Plotinus and the Patristic synthesis of Dionysius.