Platonism & Christianity ’22 | Resources

Class times: 6.30 to 8 pm | Tuesdays | 12, 19, 26 July & 2, 9, 16 August 2022

Venue: Multipurpose Room 2 in the Kathleen Syme Centre, 251 Faraday St, Carlton, Melbourne (+online)

Directions: From the Kathleen Syme Centre main entrance, take the stairs to the first floor and then a sharp left to Multipurpose Room 2 (guidance will be available on the first night).

Online: zoom link | It’s the same link for all six classes. | In case of internet disruption, dial-in on +61 2 8015 6011 | Meeting ID: 859 2211 8980 | Passcode: 947318

Course Outline and further reading (no set reading for this course)

Catch-up classes

Week 1

Session 1

Week 2

Session 2 | Hellenistic Judaism and early Christianity

Week 3

Session 3 | Old Judaism contrasted with early Christianity

As an addition to the 3rd class, there is this talk by Joanne Leone about Gnostic Christianity. Joanne gave this presentation (starting in the recording at the 52 min mark) the last time we ran this course. We thank Joanne for her marvelous insights into the Gnostic tradition.

Week 4

Session 4 | Introducing the problems of monotheistic creationism

The myth of the virgin mother-wife

This Christian mother-wife myth is preserved in The Golden Legend as Ch 119, The Assumption of the Virgin. Find it in the Ryan translation from page 464 to 468. See more on this blog post.

Week 5

Session 5 | Catch up on “The divine logos: through it all things were made”

CORRECTION to the video: it was Eudoxus who was the contemporary of Plato and attributed with the new definition of ratio/logos found in Euclid (BkV Defn5). The stoic quoted is Chrysippus (Thanks Witold!).

For references discussed in class, see the “further reading” for Week 3 in the Course Outline.

Golden Ratio generation in Euclid
How to find the golden ratio according to Euclid’s Elements of Geometry

For books about the golden ratio in PDF see these search results. Paul Recommends Dunlap . (Thanks Paul!) Coinage from around Plato’s time present the pentagon (expressing the golden ratio), for example this one or this one.

For the synchronising of music and painting see: Synchromism Art movement from early last century. See some of the art here.

For proportion in Churches see: How to read churches: A crash course in ecclesiastical architecture by Denis McNamara (Thanks Jon!)

Week 6

Session 6 | Catch-up on Allegory and Mysticism

Other videos and podcasts

The Secret History of Western Esotericism (SHWEP) has some great podcasts on this topic, including this one on how (why?) Christianity became the preferred religion of the Roman Empire early in the 4th Century.

Lullabies for the Dying considers sympathies between Platonic and Christian myths of the afterlife
Bernie Lewin talks to an Eastern Orthodox priest (Fr. Costache) about Platonism and the history of science