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Hearing God’s Silence: Ignatius of Antiokheia and the Music of the Spheres

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Chapter Summary

This chapter offers a revised and expanded version of the paper delivered by the author in 2006, which he ambitiously proposed to trace the spiritual legacy of Ignatius from the 2nd century to its efflorescence in the pseudonymous oeuvre of Dionysios Areopagites. The major expression of the theme of silence in Ignatius's letters appears in his effusive praise of silent bishops. Having traded one set of parallels for another, eschewing Gnosticism in favour of Greco-Roman commonplaces, Schoedel indicates that Ignatius himself must have worked from the ground upward rather than the heavens downward. The chapter explains that Ignatius of Antiokheia was neither ignorant nor uncritical of the Pythagorean doctrine of the music of the spheres, but that he responded to a secondarily Christianized version which may have taken the form of teaching, commentary, or exegesis involving Platon's Myth of Er (Respublica 614a- 621b).

Keywords: Christian communities; Ignatius of Antiokheia; Platon's Myth of Er; Pythagorean doctrine; Schoedel



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