Plato's idea of God and the soul in their mutual relations

Dunsby, Charles (1912). Plato's idea of God and the soul in their mutual relations. University of Birmingham. M.A.

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It is much more true from the point of view of the individual. The soul, in spite of its manifold relations with the world, in spite of its dependence upon the world for its existence and development, nevertheless retains an inexplicable sense of independence and non-relationship to it. Moreover the anomalies of life – the mutability of fortune, the unkindness of our fellow-men, the contradictions of character – all combine to alienate it still more from external affairs, and to impel it to seek for satisfaction in itself and in God. Thus, then, religion is primarily and perhaps ultimately, a personal matter. It postulates two entities only God and the soul; and though the former is revealed to the latter only in and through the world, the soul always feels the revelation to be transcendently more important than the medium through which it has been made.
Plato, in common with the general characteristics of Greek life and thought, is mainly concerned with the relation of the individual to the state. He seldom introduces into his discussions the subject of religion and then only in subordination to the main theme. This being so, it may seem strange that an attempt should be made to find in his works an exposition of that personal religion which has been said to be quite contrary to the Greek conception. Such an attempt however, is not so hopeless as it appears.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.A.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.A.
College/Faculty: Faculties (to 1997) > Faculty of Arts
School or Department: School of Classics
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology


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