Wednesday, February 10, 2010

N.T. Wright on Plato

Eighty years ago, in Process and Reality, Alfred North Whitehead famously remarked that the development of philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.

N.T. Wright, in Surprised by Hope, goes even farther. Without equivocation, he asserts that "Plato remains the most influential thinker in the history of the Western world." (p. 88)

Wright is no star-struck Platonic cheerleader, however, like Allan Bloom in The Closing of the American Mind. Quite the contrary: Wright seeks to show how the deprecation of the world of space, time, and matter in Plato's thought gets in the way of the Christian gospel.

In other words - and to mix metaphors a bit - Plato's cave can be a stumbling block to experiencing Christ's empty tomb.

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