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The Nature Of The Soul According To Eriugena

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Chapter Summary

Eriugena's treatment of the soul depends in many ways on his predecessors, which consist of (i) a limited selection of ancient philosophical texts and (ii) the Patristic tradition, which preserves and develops a good deal of ancient metaphysics in its theology. However, strong tendencies in his own thought lead him to a difference of emphasis from many of the Fathers which make his presentation of the soul very distinctive. In Christian writers, the term "soul" normally refers to the soul of the individual human being, but the notion of the world-soul, so strong in the Timaeus, had not been dismissed-in fact, it is quite important to Eriugena, and in the twelfth century a vigorous debate arose as to whether it was to be identified with the Holy Spirit of Christian theology.

Keywords: Christian theology; Eriugena; Holy Spirit; nature of the soul; Patristic tradition; Timaeus



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