Proclus' Attitude to Theurgy

Classical Quarterly 32 (01):212- (1982)
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Theurgy, the religious magic practised by the later Neoplatonists, has been commonly regarded as the point at which Neoplatonism degenerates into magic, superstition and irrationalism.1 A superficial glance at the ancient lives of the Neoplatonists, and in particular at Eunapius’ Lives of the Sophists, reveals a group of people interested in animating statues, favoured with visions of gods and demons, and skilled in rain-making. But when we look more closely at the works of the Neoplatonists themselves, rather than the stories biographers tell about them, we find a considerable diversity of attitudes towards theurgy and a number of attempts to fit theurgy into their philosophical system



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Anne Deborah Raphael Sheppard
Royal Holloway University of London

References found in this work

The Greeks and the Irrational.E. R. Dodds - 1951 - Philosophy 28 (105):176-177.
Plotinus : the Road to Reality.J. M. Rist - 1967 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 30 (2):401-402.
The Greek Commentaries on Plato's Phaedo.James Coulter & L. G. Westerink - 1979 - American Journal of Philology 100 (3):437.
Proclus, the Elements of Theology.E. R. Dodds - 1934 - Philosophy 9 (33):108-110.

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