On 19.06.2012 09:50 Bruno Marchal said the following:
This might be because you confine yourself to christian theologians.
I read a long time ago a book ("La malle de Newton") which confirms
Newton neo-platonic tendencies. Keep in mind that neo-platonist have
to hide their idea since Rome, and still today. Theology comes from
I am not that sure. The Church was not uniform and there were many
different intellectual groups as usually fighting with each other.
Neo-platonists belonged just to one of such groups. Below there are a
couple of quotes from Soul of Science.
Well, if we talk about Giordano Bruno
"He argued that the Egyptian pantheism described in the hermetic
writings was superior to Christianity."
This was too much for Christians and Bruno was burned. Yet most
Christians as neo-platonists did not want to replace Christianity.
"Whereas the Christian Aristotelian tradition stressed God’s
rationality, the neo-Platonic tradition stressed His indwelling spirit
working in and through matter. A favorite metaphor was God as an
artisan—“the best and most orderly Artisan of all,” in the words of
"Like Aristotelianism, neo-Platonism saw the world as an organism but
with a different emphasis: In explaining natural processes it appealed
not to rational Forms but to the creative power of spiritual forces.
These forces were often regarded as divine, or at least as avenues of
divine activity in the world."
"Neo-Platonism contained two somewhat distinct streams of thought. One
stream can be traced in astronomy; it contained a strong Pythagorean
element with a profound and even mystical respect for mathematics. The
other stream can be traced in medicine and early chemistry; it focused
on immanent, quasi-spiritual forces in nature—“active principles,” as
they were called."
You will find in the Soul of Science many names of this tradition. It
might be interesting to read theological works in this respect.
the Platonic idea that what we see, observe and measure, is not the
whole of reality, but the christians came back with the strong
emphasis on the material nature of the creation, and the
oversimplication and personification of the "creator".
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