Plato's doctrine of the soul, its immaterial nature, its parts or faculties, and its fate after death (and before birth) came to have an enormous influence on the great religious traditions that sprang up in late antiquity, beginning with Judaism (in the person of Philo of Alexandria), and continuing with Christianity, from St. Paul on through the Alexandrian and Cappadocian Fathers to Byzantium, and finally with Islamic thinkers from Al-kindi on. This volume, while not aspiring to completeness, attempts to provide insights into how members of each of these traditions adapted Platonist doctrines to their own particular needs, with varying degrees of creativity.
Maha Elkaisy-Friemuth, Ph.D. in Islamic Studies, University of Birmingham, Lecturer in Islamic studies at Leuven Catholic University, Belgium. She has published extensively on Islamic philosophy including
God and Humans in Islamic thought (Routledge, 2006); “Al-Radd al-Jamil: Ghazalis or Pseudo–Ghazali?”, in D. Thomas,
The Bible in Arab Christianity (Brill, 2007).
John M. Dillon, Ph. D. (1969) in Classics, University of California at Berkeley, is Regius Professor of Greek (Emeritus) at Trinity College, Dublin. He has published extensively on various aspects of the Platonic tradition, including
The Middle Platonists (Duckworth,1977),
Iamblichus De Anima (with John Finamore, Brill, 2002), and
The Heirs of Plato (Oxford, 2003).
All those interested in ancient philosophy (particularly Platonism) and theology, Judaic, Christian and Islamic.