Platonic Theories of Prayer, Studies in Platonism, Neoplatonism, and the Platonic Tradition 19, Brill: Leiden – Boston, 2016. €104, US$135.Before being sent an offprint from this volume it had not occurred to me that there was such a thing as a Platonic theory of prayer, let alone several such theories. But Layne’s essay on ‘Cosmic Etiology and Demiurgic Mimesis in Proclus’ Account of Prayer’ was immediately recognizable as dealing with an aspect of Procline theory, which was fully Platonic insofar as it was rooted in Timaeus’ prayer at the beginning of his monologue in Plato’s dialogue; fully philosophical theory insofar as it dealt with that passage as an integral part of Plato’s study of natural philosophy, bound up as it was with the three primary causes and two secondary causes, as well as with his important theory of reversion upon the cause; and fully about a religious phenomenon labelled ‘prayer’ in the Platonic text. Hence there was at least one instantiation of a ‘Platonic theory of prayer’: one that deviated considerably from ‘prayer’ as usually understood in antiquity, though in accord with the editors’ initial definition. Had it not been for Proclus we might not have had this book
International Journal of the Platonic Tradition – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1
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