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The Nature of LoveCourtly and Romantic$
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Irving Singer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262512732

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262512732.001.0001

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Neoplatonism and the Renaissance

Neoplatonism and the Renaissance

(p.165) 6 Neoplatonism and the Renaissance
The Nature of Love

Irving Singer

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses the model of thinking put forth by Dante in his effort to establish harmony between human love and religious love. This model has been put to good use by philosophers in the Italian Renaissance, most importantly by Marsilio Ficino, whose goal was simple; he endeavored to combine Plato’s philosophy with the orthodox dogmas of the Christian faith. Ficino, who dedicated himself to Platonism and became a parish priest, aiming to be wholly Platonic and wholly Christian, searched for complementary truths in each tradition so that he could strengthen both. It can be argued that his mission had already been accomplished, since medieval Christianity cannot be understood without its Platonic element. Ficino himself did not feel that his attempts to merge Platonism and Christianity were in any way revolutionary.

Keywords:   Dante, human love, religious love, Italian Renaissance, Marsilio Ficino, Platonism, medieval Christianity, Platonic

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