Angels in Medieval Philosophical Inquiry: Their Function and Significance

Angels in Medieval Philosophical Inquiry: Their Function and Significance


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The nature and properties of angels occupied a prominent place in medieval philosophical inquiry. Creatures of two worlds, angels provided ideal ground for exploring the nature of God and his creation, being perceived as 'models' according to which a whole range of questions were defined, from cosmological order, movement and place, to individuation, cognition, volition, and modes of language. This collection of essays is a significant scholarly contribution to angelology, centred on the function and significance of angels in medieval speculation and its history. The unifying theme is that of the role of angels in philosophical inquiry, where each contribution represents a case study in which the angelic model is seen to motivate developments in specific areas and periods of medieval philosophical thought.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780754658030
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 02/13/2008
Series: Ashgate Studies in Medieval Philosophy Series
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Isabel Iribarren is Lecturer in Medieval History and Theology at Strasbourg University, France and Martin Lenz, is Research Associate at the Humboldt-University, Germany

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction: the role of angels in medieval philosophical inquiry, Isabel Iribarren and Martin Lenz. Part I Angels as Exemplars of World Order: The hierarchies in the writings of Alan of Lille, William of Auvergne, and St Bonaventure, David Luscombe; Deplatonising the celestial hierarchy: Peter John Olivi's interpretation of the pseudo-Dionysius, Sylvain Piron; Angelic individuality and the possibility of a better world: Durandus of St Pourçain's criticism of Thomas Aquinas, Isabel Iribarren. Part II Angelic Location: Abelard on angels, John Marenbon; The condemnations of 1277 and Henry of Ghent on angelic location, Richard Cross; Angels, space and place: the location of separate substances according to John Duns Scotus, Tiziana Sußrez-Nani; Late medieval debates on the location of angels after the condemnation of 1277, Henrik Wels. Part III Angelic Cognition and Language: The language of angels: on the subjectivity and intersubjectivity of pure spirits, Theo Kobusch; Thought experiments: the methodological function of angels in late medieval epistemology, Dominik Perler; Why can't angels think properly? Ockham against Chatton and Aquinas, Martin Lenz. Part IV Demonology: Demons as psychological abstractions, Alexander Murray. Part V Angels in the Renaissance and the Early Modern Period: Medieval, renaissance and reformation angels: a comparison, Stephan Meier-Oeser; On angelic bodies: some philosophical discussions in the 17th century, Anja Hallacker; Bibliography; Index.

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