Ambrose’s True Self
This chapter examines the disputed relationship between Ambrose’s theology and Neoplatonic philosophy, with specific reference to his account of the identity of the person. One controversial passage is from On the Good of Death, where Ambrose, paraphrasing Ennead IV.7, appears to claim that an individual’s identity lies in the soul and that the body is not a constitutive element of the self. It will be argued that Ambrose’s dichotomization of soul and body in On the Good of Death and his appropriation of Plotinus reflect his understanding of the human condition after its corruption by sin, described based on his interpretation of Romans 7.
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