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The Demiurge in Ancient Thought

In Cambridge University Press, Carl Séan O'BRIEN, Demiurge, Gnosticism, Paul Linjamaa on June 14, 2016 at 2:00 pm

9781107075368

2016.06.09 | Carl Séan O’Brien, The Demiurge in Ancient Thought: Secondary Gods and Divine Mediators. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. ISBN: 9781107075368, £65.00.

Review by Paul Linjamaa, Lund University.

This book is a convenient and detailed compilation of ideas concerning the Demiurge and “demiurgry” in ancient thought—ideas on how the cosmos was generated and how matter was ordered and sustained. The work is the published version of a PhD-dissertation at Trinity College, Dublin.

The book begins with a  chapter that briefly introduces and situates the subject of “demiugry” and presents the Platonic background of it in relation to Stoic, Aristotelian and Judeo-Christian thought. Chapter 2 goes over to a detailed presentation of Plato’s introduction of the Demiurge-character in his Timaeus, as well his other dialogues. The main thrust of the book lies in chapters 3-10, in presenting the way Plato’s Demiurge was received and developed among philosophers (Jew, Gentile and Christian) from the first to the third century CE. Read the rest of this entry »

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