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Mathematical TheologiesNicholas of Cusa and the Legacy of Thierry of Chartres$
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David Albertson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199989737

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199989737.001.0001

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The Neopythagorean Revival: Henology and Mediation

The Neopythagorean Revival: Henology and Mediation

(p.40) 2 The Neopythagorean Revival: Henology and Mediation
Mathematical Theologies

David Albertson

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses several developments in the slow development of Neopythagorean theologies during the period known as Middle Platonism. Around the turn of the first millennium, Eudorus of Alexandria and Moderatus of Gades innovated an approach to first philosophy deliberately organized around serial emanations of the divine One, described today as “henology” in distinction from ontology. Its religious potential was plumbed in succeeding generations of Platonists outside the Academic mainstream—in the Logos theology and arithmology of Philo of Alexandria; in the negative theology of Alcinous and Clement of Alexandria; and in the arithmological hierarchies of Valentinian and Sethian Gnosticism. The chapter concludes with an overview of the mathematical theology of Nicomachus of Gerasa, the greatest exponent of classical Neopythagoreanism. Nicomachus not only invented the comprehensive number theory that would in time become the medieval quadrivium, but also juxtaposed mathematical mediation with Logos-mediation for the first time.

Keywords:   Eudorus, Moderatus, Philo of Alexandria, Logos theology, Nicomachus, Henology, Arithmology, gnosticism, negative theology, Neopythagoreanism

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