Start your review of Periphyseon Write a review Shelves: christian-mysticism , christian-philosophy , philosophy , theology , scholasticism This work was certainly good, but this edition is insufficient and a bit frustrating. It is largely an abridgment of a work that consists of five volumes. Volume 1 is translated in full; volume 2 is almost completely summarized. The rest of the volumes consist of summaries and extracts.
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The form of exposition is that of dialogue ; the method of reasoning is the syllogism. The first is God as the ground or origin of all things; the second, Platonic ideas or forms; the third, phenomena , the material world; and the last is God as the final end or goal of all things, and that into which the world of created things ultimately returns.
Just as He reveals Himself to the mind and the soul in higher intellectual and spiritual truth, so He reveals Himself to the senses in the created world around us. Creation is, therefore, a process of unfolding of the Divine Nature.
The Division of Nature has been called the final achievement of ancient philosophy, a work which "synthesizes the philosophical accomplishments of fifteen centuries. Eriugena anticipates Thomas Aquinas , who said that one cannot know and believe a thing at the same time. Eriugena explains that reason is necessary to understand and interpret revelation. He marks, indeed, a stage of transition from the older Platonizing philosophy to the later scholasticism.
For him philosophy is not in the service of theology. The above-quoted assertion as to the substantial identity between philosophy and religion is repeated almost word for word by many of the later scholastic writers, but its significance depends upon the selection of one or other term of the identity as fundamental or primary.
For Eriugena, philosophy or reason is first, primitive; authority or religion is secondary, derived. On the whole, one might be surprised that even in the seventeenth century pantheism did not gain a complete victory over theism; for the most original, finest, and most thorough European expositions of it none of them, of course, will bear comparison with the Upanishads of the Vedas all came to light at that period, namely through Bruno , Malebranche , Spinoza , and Scotus Erigena.
This seems to prove that the insight of individuals cannot make itself felt so long as the spirit of the age is not ripe to receive it. This is because Kant had preceded it with his overthrow of theistic dogmatism and had cleared the way for it, whereby the spirit of the age was ready for it, just as a ploughed field is ready for the seed.
The king having asked, Quid distat inter sottum et Scottum? What separates a sot [drunkard] from an Irishman? For example, his reports that Eriugena is buried at Malmesbury is doubted by scholars who say that William confused John Eriugena with a different monk named John.
Cassian of Imola. Feast: at Malmesbury , 28 January. Bertrand Russell called him "the most astonishing person of the ninth century". He is generally recognized to be both the outstanding philosopher in terms of originality of the Carolingian era and of the whole period of Latin philosophy stretching from Boethius to Anselm ". Jeauneau, ed, CCCM — Jeauneau; translated into English by John J. Barbet, CCCM 31,
John Scotus Eriugena
Life and Writings 1. It is also certain that Johannes had been installed for some time at the court of Charles the Bald, the West Frankish king, but he was also associated with other ecclesiastical centers, including Rheims, Laon, Soissons, and Compigne. Eriugena had a justified reputation among his contemporaries as a man of considerable learning. Brennan, Two partial commentaries c. Eriugena has a rich and eclectic knowledge of the liberal arts tradition, including Isidore, Cassiodorus, and Cicero.
Johannes Scottus Eriugena
Composition[ edit ] The work was probably carried out beginning in the early s and completed around — This is based on a dedication in the book identifying as frater brother Wulfad , who was made a bishop in , making it unlikely that Eriugena would have used so casual a reference after that elevation. Eriugena was assisted by one, possibly two other persons in writing the book, based on the presence of margin notes indicating the penmanship of two separate persons. One of these is believed to have been Eriugena himself, while the script indicates that the second writer was a fellow Irishman. Four species of "Nature"[ edit ] The work is arranged in five books. The original plan was to devote one book to each of the four divisions, but the topic of creation required expansion. The form of exposition is that of dialogue ; the method of reasoning is the syllogism.
John Scottus Eriugena
We cannot know this unity. We can recognize also that created nature is itself a manifestation of God: another form in which he is partly accessible. However trivial, and however misguided, individuals may be, as part of that creation they are all inescapably manifestations of the one ultimate unity. Now John is arguing here along familiar Neoplatonist lines. Where he is exceptional for the ninth century at least is in seeing the relationship of God to the creation in terms of contemporary logic. In the treatise against Gottschalk this is not spelled out.