Origen of Alexandria, one of the major Christian Platonists, was situated at the border and at the intersection between Christianity and philosophy (particularly Platonism) and was attacked both by Christians who were suspicious of philosophy and by ‘pagan’ philosophers, especially Platonists (from Porphyry onwards), who regarded Christian Platonism as spurious, if not a hybrid that could not exist. I will examine these ‘borders’, which can be conceptualised as both religious and philosophical boundaries, and how they worked in the reception of Origen in late antiquity and the early Middle Ages (Eriugena), as well as in the Renaissance (Ficino) and even in contemporary scholarship.
The answer that Eriugena provided for the issue of predestination to his 9th century contemporaries introduced a new type of argumentation in the Frankish intellectual circles. Although Eriugena was building on Augustinian views, he managed to cut through the discussion using the logic of the apophatic discourse of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite. This paper will try to identify the logical pattern that Eriugena develops in the De praedestinatione: the syllogistic forms that he develops using both traditions and how he understands the borders and entanglements between the two traditions from a logical point of view. A further analysis will give us an idea of whether he made consistent use of this type of bordering arguments in the Periphyseon as well.
This paper examines the term ‘uita generalis‘ in the writing of Johannes Scotus Eriugena. Eriugena uses this term to describe and perhaps to accommodate the Platonic world soul. He knew about the world soul from Calcidius’ translation of the Timaeus, but I shall argue that this knowledge was mediated by the early writings of Augustine. More specifically Eriugena’s treatment of the world soul makes use of glosses on Augustine’s De musica that were written earlier in the 9th century. This paper therefore invites the crossing of borders: from the centre of the page to its margins and back again, and from the technical explanation of a scientia to broader horizons of philosophical speculation.