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Sperl, Stefan and Dedes, Yorgos, eds. (2022) Faces of the Infinite: Neoplatonism and Poetry at the Confluence of Africa, Asia and Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Neoplatonism, the dominant philosophy of Late Antiquity, inspired not only the intellectual traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam but also their arts. Neoplatonic notions of the ascent of the soul, the nature of love and beauty, divine immanence and transcendence, and the interplay between the many and the One, have for centuries left comparable marks on the poetry of Western Asia, North Africa and Europe. This volume focuses on the Greater Mediterranean and discusses authors who wrote in Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Persian, Spanish and Turkish, from medieval times to the present day. Among them are many celebrated exponents of their respective classical traditions, including Dante, Ibn Arabi and Ibn Gabirol. Major contemporary poets writing in these languages have continued to engage with the Neoplatonic heritage assimilated by their forbears. Particular attention is therefore given also to the modern period. The findings gathered here demonstrate that Neoplatonism is a cross-cultural phenomenon of outstanding importance which has given rise to a distinct 'Neoplatonic poetics' and remains relevant by pointing the way towards an inclusive sense of identity commensurate with a pluralist world.

Item Type: Edited Book or Journal Volume
Keywords: Neoplatonism, Poetry, Plotinus, Neoplatonic poetics, Ascent, Love, Beauty, Immanence and transcendence, Pluralism
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics
ISBN: 9780197267257
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2022 16:32

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