DOI link for Introduction
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book explores the strategy employed by Augustine in using Plato as a pseudo-prophet against later Platonists and explores Eusebius’ reception of Porphyry’s daemonology. It examines Plotinus’ claim that matter is absolute badness and focuses on Maximus the Confessor’s doctrine of creation and asks whether one may detect any influence on Maximus from Philoponus. The book addresses Christian receptions of Platonic metaphysics and also examines the philosophy of number in Augustine’s early works. It argues that the aspect of Augustine’s philosophy must be read in context with the intellectual problems that occupied him at the beginning of his career as a writer. It draws on a number of sources to investigate the development of the doctrine and the various intellectual issues it confronted, including Plato’s Timaeus, Philo of Alexandria, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Plotinus and, finally, Athanasius.