Platonism in Recent Religious Thought

Platonism in Recent Religious Thought

Platonism in Recent Religious Thought

Platonism in Recent Religious Thought

Excerpt

Platonism has been profoundly influential in the history of Western religious thought, and various forms of Platonism are being presented today as relevant to the problems of contemporary religious thought. In at least two substantial studies some attention has been directed to this topic. The first of these is Abbé Maurice Nédoncelle's La Philosophie religieuse en Grand-Bretagne de 1850 à nos jours. This book has chapters on Inge's Christian Platonism and Whitehead's Religious Realism, and a paragraph on the religious thought of A. E. Taylor. But it does not cover Platonism in American religious thought, neglects Temple, and is already somewhat out of date. A more extensive and more philosophical treatment of contemporary Platonism is J. H. Muirhead's The Platonic Tradition in Anglo-Saxon Philosophy. His treatment of classical Platonism is negligible, while the Platonism of More, Taylor, Temple, and Santayana is ignored. Although Whitehead's development of Platonic themes is discussed, F. H. Bradley's Anglo-Hegelian Absolute Idealism is taken as the typical expression of recent British Platonism. In view of these facts it seems clear that there is need for a study which, while utilizing the contributions of Nédoncelle and Muirhead, will attempt to supply something of what they lack. Furthermore, there is no study of Platonic religious thought which affords a conspectus of its present state, with due attention to its historical background.

Some definitions are in order. The term "Platonism" seems to have three legitimate usages. Primarily, it means . . .

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