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Plotinian Image And The Medieval Representation Of Divinity

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Chapter Summary

A distinctive feature of medieval Christianity was its profound awareness of the possibility for divine revelation. The great churches of the period were designed as apocalyptic landscapes. The letters of Paul offer guidance on how the sacred history of the Hebrews is to be understood as a prefiguration of Christian revelation. An important result of Augustine's appropriation and adaptation of Plotinus' teachings was its contribution to the formation of a Christian symbolic imagination. Plotinus distinguishes beauty of form in the mind from beauty of form in nature through his concept of the "rational forming principle". The great churches of the period are only the most conspicuous examples, built and designed as images of the New Jerusalem through the material shaping of ideas and the yearning to know God's presence. It was this kind of medieval effort to represent and experience divinity that recalls his bloom as a passage to revelation.

Keywords: apocalyptic; Augustine; Christianity; divinity; New Jerusalem; Plotinus



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