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Christian Metaphysics and Neoplatonism Hardcover – 20 Jan 2015


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Contemporary scholarship tends to view Albert Camus as a modern, but he himself was conscious of the past and called the transition from Hellenism to Christianity the true and only turning point in history. For Camus, modernity was not fully comprehensible without an examination of the aspirations that were first articulated in antiquity and that later received their clearest expression in Christianity. These aspirations amounted to a fundamental reorientation of human life in politics, religion, science, and philosophy. Understanding the nature and achievement of that reorientation became the central task of Christian Metaphysics and Neoplatonism. Primarily known through its inclusion in a French omnibus edition, it has remained one of Camus' least-read works, yet it marks his first attempt to understand the relationship between Greek philosophy and Christianity as he charted the movement from the Gospels through Gnosticism and Plotinus to what he calls Augustine's second revelation of the Christian faith. Ronald Srigley's translation of this seminal document helps illuminate these aspects of Camus' work. His freestanding English edition exposes readers to an important part of Camus' thought that is often overlooked by those concerned primarily with the book's literary value and supersedes the extant McBride translation by retaining a greater degree of literalness. Srigley has fully annotated Christian Metaphysics to include nearly all of Camus' original citations and has tracked down many poorly identified sources. When Camus cites an ancient primary source, whether in French translation or in the original language, Srigley substitutes a standard English translation in the interest of making his edition accessible to a wider range of readers. His introduction places the text in the context of Camus' better-known later work, explicating its relationship to those mature writings and exploring how its themes were reworked in subsequent books. Arguing that Camus was o

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x93ff5f3c) out of 5 stars 1 review
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93972498) out of 5 stars The First Work 26 Mar. 2015
By John Sparks - Published on Amazon.com
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Several years ago, an aged minister named Howard Mumma wrote a memoir entitled "Albert Camus and the Minister," detailing his time as a Protestant chaplain in Paris decades before, and his supposed friendship and conversations with Albert Camus. I gave that particular work a poor review, not because there was anything wrong with the writing style but rather because it seemed to make Camus succumb to one of the stronger Protestant myths: "sola Scriptura," or the idea that Scripture alone, minus all the Catholic traditions that accompanied it until the Reformation, was sufficient in and of itself to convince a skeptic to rethink his or her positions about God and faith. In this work, a new translation and adaptation of Camus' actual Masters' thesis submitted to the University of Algiers in the 1930s, the great writer speaks for himself of his knowledge of the Bible, the writings of the Early Fathers, and religious traditions in general. And although he takes no position antagonistic to Christianity itself in this work, his reasons for not embracing the religion shine through eminently clearly. Camus had simply done his homework on historical and form biblical criticism, he quite naturally came to the same conclusions about Scripture that any honest student of those disciplines would, and it formed a good deal of the logical basis of his own philosophy. This work serves as a fine background study for those interested in the author's later and more famous novels, essays, and plays.
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