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EVENT: Lecture:Creation Debates in Fifth-Century Gaza

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Today's date is Sunday, October 25, 2020
Lecture:Creation Debates in Fifth-Century Gaza Other events...
This lecture by Michael Champion is part of a series of lectures organised jointly by UWA, Murdoch University and University of Notre Dame exploring religious and theological themes. The lecture will be followed by snacks and drinks.

In the early fifth century, the Neoplatonist philosopher Proclus of Athens published a magisterial commentary on Plato's Timaeus. This work, together with his Eighteen Arguments for the Eternity of the World, reignited debate about the doctrine of creation in educated Christian circles, and re-focused attention on specifically Neoplatonic challenges. John Philoponus responded to Proclus in the sixth century, publishing a detailed rebuttal of Proclus in the same year Justinian closed the Academy in Athens. Philoponus was attacked in turn by the Neoplatonist Simplicius and by a Christian merchant and monk, one of the few flat-earthers among the educated, named Cosmas Indicopleustes. What is less well-known is an earlier episode in Gaza, where teachers and associates of the flourishing rhetorical schools explored problems surrounding creation, attempted to rebut the Neoplatonic challenge, and set out an independent view of creation which placed the doctrine of creation firmly within an eschatological and soteriological frame. In the Gazan works, creation is about ethics, salvation and the nature of God more than it is about physics, a potentially useful correction to much modern debate. I will explore what was at stake for the Gazans in the debate and offer a preliminary evaluation of their arguments and their relation to later debates.

Dr Michael Champion lectures in Classics and Ancient History at UWA.
Speaker(s) Dr Michael Champion
Location UWA Science Library 3rd Floor meeting room
Contact Michael Wood <[email protected]> : 6488 4762
Start Wed, 09 Nov 2011 16:00
End Wed, 09 Nov 2011 18:00
RSVP RSVP is required.
Submitted by Michael Wood <[email protected]>
Last Updated Tue, 08 Nov 2011 13:02
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