The Medieval Search for Meaning
Appreciate the massive role Plato had in the formation of Western religion
Appreciate the ways St. Augustine combined Neoplatonism & Christian theology
Appreciate the contributions of Christian Scholasticism to Western Philosophy
Appreciate the contributions of Avicenna (see for more)
Appreciate the contributions of Maimonides (see for more)
Appreciate the contributions of St. Aquinas and his explanation of
The City of God
Ontological Argument for God
Cosmological Argument for God
Maimondes on religion and science
Aquinas' Theory of Natural Law
Platonism & the Church
Plato in History
• For 1000 years, Plato's philosophy is the standard of Greek understanding
• Modern philosopher Alfred Whitehead: "All philosophy is a footnote to Plato."
• When Christian thought arrives in Greece, it combines with ancient Platonism
Platonism & the New Testament
• The Hebrew Bible (ie. Old Testament) predates Platonism.
• Paul (Col. 2:17): "These are a shadow of things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ." This verse uses the same vocab as the Cave Allegory.
• Gospel of John 1: "At the arche was the Logos, and the Logos was with God and the Logos was God." Here, the gospel writers identify Jesus as the Logos.
The Greek Fathers of the Church
• Justin Martyr: gives the fullest explanation of Christ as the Greek Logos
• St. Origen: scripture is allegorical and God is Aristotle's Prime Mover
• The Cappadocian Fathers: championed the concept of the Trinity
Tertullian & the Latin Fathers of the Church
• With Tertullian, Roman Christian philosophy and terminology turns to Latin
• Tertullian teaches the Trinity as "three persons, one substance" (cf. Chariot)
• 325 CE: Christian doctrine is agreed upon by the bishops in the Nicene Creed
• 392 CE: the books of the Christian New Testament are agreed upon