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Overshadowing Or Foreshadowing Return: The Role Of Demons In Eriugena’s Periphyseon

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Chapter Summary

This chapter integrates Eriugenas demonology and his view on the human body with the Periphyseons overarching narrative. It describes how the text of Eriugenas chapter on demons, found in book V of Periphyseon, actually unfolds. It assesses its intellectual merits in light of the Periphyseons larger argument and compares it to the development of demonology and bodily resurrection sketched by Bynum and Elliott. Authors is concerned about the interpretation of Eriugena by Bynum and others as a spiritualizing alternative, with Origenist overtones. In his view the assessment of Eriugena as Origenist has to contend with two complications, first of which regards the position of Origen himself, while the second addresses how such an assessment lifts Eriugena out of his Carolingian context, turning him into a quasi-heretical Greek thinker. It is important to point out that Eriugena is much more influenced by Gregory of Nyssa and Maximus Confessor than by Origen.

Keywords: Caroline Walker Bynum; demons; Dyan Elliott; Eriugena; Gregory of Nyssa; human body; Origen; Periphyseon; resurrection

10.1163/ej.9789004196179.i-257.71
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