The Theology of the Early Greek Philosophers by Werner Wilhelm Jaeger: A short review

The Theology of the Early Greek Philosophers by Werner Wilhelm Jaeger

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Greatly written resource on theological shifts in structure of ideas in the Hellenic world. I’ve started with an idea that “in an indivisible cosmos, the divine reveals itself” in sages, philosophers, mystai, logioi interpret it (hermeneuien). Those few that experienced the world of the Divine and weren’t left in their speculations without this support of convinction, understanding and experience. Thinking that any thought that lifted the theological narration in a different direction in this days was a heroic, titanic move by those few mystai and physikoi acknowledging the Divine, or those seeking the reasons for natural religion forged in fear managed by a political order to have a “bigger, greater man” in the sky to be feared. This reading helped me reconcile the neoplatonic ideas of Iamblichus with the Pythagorean Tetractys, I needed plenty of philosophical glue to solve the progression from apeiron and monadic generator and further generation of the mutually reflecting world of descending and ascending coil-like (transmigrative) powers. This personal exploration attempts to reconcile a superstructure of theological grand vision with the various worldviews of the Hellenic philosophers, as well as building bridges to Chaldean, Egyptian and Hindi ones. They weren’t the same, however, they picked differect aspects of categories of human and religious experience, different practices and mystagogy, but there are points of reference among the models and measuring rods that greatly improve one’s personal epiphany, apocalypsis (revealing), by knowing where to put the accentuation in order to interpret them through each other.



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