The Divine Ideas Tradition in Christian Mystical Theology

The Divine Ideas Tradition in Christian Mystical Theology

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Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
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Binding: Hardcover
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By the time of early modernity, a widely deployed tenet of Christian thought had begun to vanish. The divine ideas tradition, the teaching that all beings have an eternal existence as aspects of God's mind, had functioned across a wide range of central Christian doctrines, providing Christian thinkers and mystical teachers with a powerful theological capacity: to illuminate the Trinitarian ground of all creatures, and to renew the divine truth of all creatures through human contemplation.

Already by the time of the Middle Platonists, Plato's forms had been reinterpreted as ideas in the mind of God. Yet that was only the beginning of the transformation of the divine ideas, for Christian belief in God as Trinity and in the incarnation of the Word imbued the divine ideas tradition with a remarkable conceptual agility. The divine ideas teaching allowed mystical theologians to conceive the hidden presence of God in all creatures, and the power of every creature's truth in God to consummate the full dynamic of every creature's calling.

The Divine Ideas Tradition in Christian Mystical Theology brings to life the striking role of the divine ideas tradition in the teaching of its central exponents, and also suggests how the divine ideas might constructively inform Christian theology and spirituality today. Especially in an age of global crises, when the truth of the natural environment, of racial injustice, and of public health is denied and disputed for political ends, the divine ideas tradition affords contemporary thinkers a creative and contemplative vision that reveres the deep truth of all beings and seeks their mending and fulfilment.