Cambridge Platonism and the Origin of the "Philosophy of Religion"


It was the Cambridge Platonist Ralph Cudworth who coined the concept of “philosophy of religion” in his magisterial opus magnum of 1678 entitled The True Intellectual System of the Universe. A year later, Henry More published his three-volume Latin Opera Omnia. Its second volume contains his principal philosophical writings in Latin, including his hugely influential critiques of Descartes, Spinoza and Boehme and his handbooks on ethics and metaphysics. Drawing upon the resources of the ancient theology of pagan and patristic Platonism, Cudworth and More were the founders of the modern discipline of the philosophy of religion. In response to the threat of materialism and determinism, the Cambridge Platonists propounded an early modern system of rational theology based upon the twin pillars of divine goodness and free will, thereby inaugurating a living tradition of Anglo-Saxon idealism.
The workshop will start with a public lecture on The Ancient Theology Revived – "Philosophy of Religion" in the Cambridge Platonists (Douglas Hedley) on Friday, 10th May in HGA 20. The workshop itself will be held on Saturday from 10 am to 6.30 pm in GA 6/131.

3ed Workshop on the Latin Works of Henry More

Henry More was by far the most prolific writer among the Cambridge Platonists. His magisterial Opera Philosophica of 1679, now being edited and translated into English on the AHRC-funded project Cambridge Platonism at the Origins of the Enlightenment, contains some of his most seminal writings, including his influential critiques of Baruch de Spinoza, Jacob Boehme and Isaac de Luria. The interdisciplinary Workshops on the Latin Works of Henry More, organized by the Universities of Cambridge and Bochum, provide first analyses of these newly-edited and newly-translated texts from a variety of historical, philosophical and theological perspectives.

Workshop Flyer   (1.9 MB)