1 The Interplay of Nature and Man in the Periphyseon of Johannes Scottus Eriugena WILLEMIEN OTTEN Much as it may surprise modern scholars of philosophy or theology, the early Middle Ages, until at least the twelfth century, did not radically distinguish between philosophy and theology when undertak- ing the quest for knowledge. Johannes Scottus Eriugena, a ninth cen- tury Irishman living on the Continent at the court of the Frankish Emperor Charles the Bald,l may serve as a good example of the per- fect osmosis of which these disciplines were capable. When subjecting Eriugena's ideas to present day analysis, modern approaches some- times risk missing his point by focusing too narrowly on either his theological speculations (Christology, eschatology) or his philosophical theories (the categories, universals, cosmology). In Eriugena's view, however, such different clusters of ideas are not to be rigidly separated. In one of his earlier works, the De praedestinatione, he has given a clear indication of his own view on how to arrive at a true knowledge of things. Dealing with a theological issue of uncommon importance,-the divine predestination-, he did not hesitate to say that, in view of their final aim, true religion and true philosophy
Vivarium – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1990
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