Philosophical Debate, Medieval illum. MS.

IN this third section of our course we will considers models of spiritual guidance that were widespread in the Greco-Roman and Jewish philosophical traditions.  All of these would have been familiar to many early Christian writers. 

FIRST, Ilsetraut Hadot descibes three models of spiritual guidance that were well-known in classical antiquity:  The Spiritual Guide.

THEN Plato, The Book of Enoch, and Cicero provide three pre-Christian models of the “Soul-Guide” or psychopomp / ψῡχοπομπός: (1) Philosopher; (2) Angel; and (3) Ancestor.

NEXT, the Physician[/Psychiatrist-Philosopher] Galen recommends the value of a spiritual guide and offers therapeutic prescriptions for spiritual maladies: On the Doctrines of Hippocrates and Plato and On the Passions and Errors of the Soul

PORPHYRY, the disciple of Plotinus, describes his teacher’s formation and his own experience of spiritual guidance: The Life of Plotinus

THEN Plotinus, the founder of Neo-Platonism advises his readers on the soul’s solitary journey “from the alone to the alone”: Enneads.

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