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The Doubled Self and the Worship of the Gods
Thursday, February 6, 2020

How did the ancient Greeks and Romans conceive of the nature of the human subject and its relationship to the divine?The Neoplatonic philosopher Plotinus (203-270 CE) famously insisted that every human is doubled: our intellect “here” in the material world has an archetype “there” in a transcendent reality, where it eternally feasts on the intelligible Forms. This lecture will explore how Plotinus’s model of doubled selfhood fared in the generation that followed immediately upon his death, particularly in a debate between two of his most important Neoplatonic successors, Porphyry of Tyre (c. 234 – c. 305) and Iamblichus of Chalcis (c. 245 – c. 325). Specifically, it will explore the implications of this model of selfhood for ritual practice, that is, for the traditional worship of the gods. 

Time: 4:45 pm – 6:15 pm EDT/GMT-4
Location: Olin, Room 102
Sponsor: Classical Studies Program; Medieval Studies Program; Philosophy Program; Religion Program
Contact: David Ungvary.
Phone: 845-758-7600

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