Review Of "The Philosophy Of John Scottus Eriugena: A Study Of Idealism In The Middle Ages" By D. Moran

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Moran (St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, Ireland) argues the striking thesis that the philosophy of John Scottus Eriugena should not be interpeted solely as a Neoplatonic hierarchical metaphysics, but should in fact be viewed as an idealist system in which the diversity of nature is a construct of the various perspectives of conscious subjects. He also suggests that the world of finite particulars is a theophany and thus is resolved into the infinity of the Godhead. Moran devotes considerable space to placing Eriugena in historical context, detailing his sources in Augustine and the Greek Fathers among others, and discussing his relationship with his nearer contemporaries. Yet the interpretation of Eriugena's own views is confined to an examination of his major work, the Periphyseon. In spite of this limitation, Moran's book makes a substantial contribution to the understanding of an early medieval thinker whose importance and influence have not always been recognized. The controversial thesis is so well argued and supported that even those who are not convinced will find it a stimulating and invaluable work. Extensive bibliography. Most useful to faculty and graduate students.


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