Chapter

The Problem of the Reality and Multiplicity of Divine Ideas in Christian Neoplatonism

W. Norris Clarke, SJ

in The Creative Retrieval of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780823229284
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236671 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823229284.003.0006
The Problem of the Reality and Multiplicity of Divine Ideas in Christian Neoplatonism

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This chapter traces a period in the history of ideas within the broad stream of Neoplatonism as it passes into Christian thought. It focuses on the basic philosophical problem itself, and on tracing out the general types of solutions tried out by different key thinkers from Plato to Saint Thomas. It argues that although large areas of Neoplatonism can be assimilated for the profound enrichment of Christian thought, there is one doctrine that stubbornly resists coherent assimilation and this is the doctrine of the realism of ideas, that the true being of things consists in the pure ideas of them as found in the mind of God.

Keywords: reality; multiplicity; divine ideas; Christian Neoplatonism; God

Chapter.  10167 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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