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American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Edited by Philipp W. Rosemann

Volume 79, Issue 4, Fall 2005
John Scottus Eriugena

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1. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 79 > Issue: 4
Philipp W. Rosemann Introduction
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2. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 79 > Issue: 4
David C. Greetham Édouard Jeauneau’s Edition of the Periphyseon in Light of Contemporary Editorial Theory
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Textual criticism and the scholarly editions it produces have all too often been regarded by academics as well as general readers as “objective” (or even “scientific”) applications of a fi xed set of procedures, designed to create a “definitive” text. But such editions are just as much a reflection of cultural and ideological expectations as are any other “critical” activities. Thus, the Jeauneau parallel-text edition of Eriugena’s Periphyseon, with its presentation of “matièe en fusion” and its embrace of a continually evolving work in “perpétuel devenir” is to be seen as an appropriate postmodernist celebration of the “supplément,” the marginal, the incomplete, and the fragmented. In this promotion of the “scriptible” (or “open,” “writerly”) text over the “lisible” (“closed” or “readerly”), Jeauneau stands in contrast with the precedent edition of Eriugena by Sheldon-Williams, which is a modernist attempt to arrive at “satisfaction” and the positive.
3. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 79 > Issue: 4
Paul Edward Dutton Filiolitas: The Short History of One of Eriugena’s Inventions
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The ninth-century Irish philosopher, theologian, and speculative grammarian Eriugena invented a number of words, chiefly in order to accommodate Greek terms in Latin. Filiolitas or “sonship” was one of these and a particularly distinctive new word, which almost no one but Eriugena seems to have used. Indeed it appears in all the works ascribed to him and serves both as a word for adoptive sonship in a theological context and as a relative noun in grammatical references. The appearance of the word in a letter of King Charles the Bald may also suggest Eriugena’s authorship of that letter.
4. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 79 > Issue: 4
Catherine Kavanagh The Influence of Maximus the Confessor on Eriugena’s Treatment of Aristotle’s Categories
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The Aristotelian categories are a fundamental element in Eriugena’s philosophical system on account of his realist view of dialectic. He received his texts concerning the categories from Boethius and the De decem catagoriis, but key ideas in his treatment of them—namely, the metaphysical importance of dialectic, the unknowability of essence, and the origin of being in place and time, ideas fundamentally rooted in Byzantine developments of the Christology of Chalcedon—are taken from Maximus the Confessor. Eriugena’s work on the categories represents an attempt, much misunderstood, to assimilate the richness of the Eastern tradition to Western philosophical and theological method. This paper examines the synthesis of Maximus’s ideas with Ciceronian and Boethian elements in Eriugena’s striking treatment of the Aristotelian Categories.
5. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 79 > Issue: 4
Valery V. Petroff Eriugena on the Spiritual Body
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This article discusses the development of John Scottus Eriugena’s teaching on the spiritual body. In his early treatise De praedestinatione, as well as in the Periphyseon, John Scottus understands the spiritual body as ethereal or aerial. This conception tacitly assumes that men and angels are connatural. Moreover, Eriugena’s angelology and demonology compel him to localize Hades in the air—a teaching in which he follows a well-established ancient and Christian tradition. John Scottus is influenced by ideas of Origen and Gregory of Nyssa in maintaining that there are two different kinds of human bodies; the interpretation of the biblical “coatsof skin” as the earthly human body plays an important part in this. According to Eriugena, the soul in a sense creates an earthly body for itself. In later passages from the Periphyseon, he abandons the idea of individual subtle bodies, accepting a complete transformation of body into spirit at the resurrection. However, he remains ambiguous on this point as his position would contradict Christian doctrine. The Periphyseon culminates in a paraphrase of a section from Ambigua ad Iohannem XXXVII. In the light of the latter text, the nature of the eight gradual unifications from the epilogue of the Periphyseon becomes clear.
6. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 79 > Issue: 4
L. Michael Harrington The Argument for Universal Immortality in Eriugena’s “Zoology”
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Apparently alone among medieval Christians, Eriugena argues that all life is immortal. He relies on Plato’s Timaeus as his primary source for this claim, but he modifies the argument of the Timaeus considerably. He turns Plato’s cosmic soul into the genus of life, thereby taking a treatise that originally dealt with cosmology and using it to explore the ontological significance of definition. All species that fall under the genus of life must be immortal, because a mortal species would contradict the genus. No later medieval author would take up Eriugena’s arguments explicitly, although Aquinas comes close. The two thirteenth-century thinkers to address universal immortality seriously—Aquinas and Bonaventure—argue against it, but they are more faithful than Eriugena himself to a literal reading of the Timaeus.
7. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 79 > Issue: 4
Avital Wohlman John Scottus Eriugena, a Christian Philosopher
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Most commentators fi nd Eriugena’s On the Division of Nature to be a variation on the theme of emanation, which flows from the One and back to it, bypassing concrete reality. My intention is to highlight the Christian traits of the four divisions of nature as the spiritual itinerary destined to lay bare the ontology of Augustine’s saeculum. Following Augustine, Eriguena identifies true philosophy with true religion. The central value of concrete reality, the third division of nature, is rooted in the mystery of the Incarnation. Reason’s conclusions and rules of true religion prepare man to envisage the aporia of freedom of will as the euporia revealed by grace.
8. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 79 > Issue: 4
Philipp W. Rosemann Causality as Concealing Revelation in Eriugena: A Heideggerian Interpretation
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This article offers a reading of Eriugena’s thought that is inspired by Heidegger’s claim according to which being is constituted in a dialectical interplay of revelation and concealment (ά-λήθεια). Beginning with an analysis of how “causality as concealing revelation” works on the level of God’s inner-Trinitarian life, the piece moves on to a consideration of the way in which the human soul reveals itself in successive stages of exteriorization that culminate in the creation of the body, its “image.” The body, however, conceals as much as it reveals true human nature. Moreover, it is shown that for Eriugena all of reality, as theophany, possesses this character of (un)concealing its fundamental truth. These insights lead Eriugena to a recognition of radical human finitude, as genuine wisdom requires an acknowledgement of our fundamental ignorance.
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9. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 79 > Issue: 4
Books Received
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contents of volume
10. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 79 > Issue: 4
Contents of Volume 79 (2005)
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