Jonathan Greig

Moses Atticizing

Jonathan Greig

I am currently a postdoctoral research  fellow at the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Institute for Medieval Research), involved in the ERC project, ‘Neoplatonism and the Abrahamic Traditions’, where I am currently working on the reception of Proclus’ pagan metaphysics, esp. the notion of the first principle, in Byzantine Christians of the 11th–14th cent. A.D. (especially the polemical commentator on Proclus, Nicholas of Methone). I did my masters at the University of Edinburgh (2012–2014) under Inna Kupreeva, and PhD at the LMU Munich (2014–2018) under Peter Adamson, with my dissertation on the One’s causality in Proclus and Damascius (5th-6th cent. A.D.). In the thesis I focused on the two late Neoplatonists working with a tension in the tradition on the One: as ‘beyond being’, the One is transcendent over all things, yet as the cause of all things, it must, in some sense, be immanent with all things, in the sense that ‘like causes like’, so that the One must be ‘like’ what it produces. This leads to two distinct directions: for Proclus, this means affirming the One as unparticipated, yet still a cause, while for Damascius, this means delineating a higher principle—the Ineffable—as distinct from the One, as the first cause. Currently the dissertation is being revised for publication in Brill’s Philosophia Antiqua series, coming out sometime later this year (2020).

Beyond past/current work projects, I also have interests in the reception of ancient metaphysics, psychology (esp. mind/will), and providence in early/late Byzantines and Latin scholastics, alongside cross-cultural philosophical influences between the late Byzantine, Latin scholastic, and Arabic spheres. In addition I also have interests in contemporary Orthodox dogmatic theology and its interplay with 20th-century Catholic theological thought (e.g. Nouvelle théologie vs. textbook Thomism); contemporary schools of Platonism (e.g. the school of Wayne Hankey/Halifax; the school of Lloyd Gerson; the school of the Leuven philologists; the Tübingen School;1 and so on); 20th-century and contemporary schools of anti-modernism (e.g. Leo Strauss/Straussianism; the Traditionalist school of René Guénon and Julius Evola;2 the late 19th/early 20th-century Catholic anti-modernist movement, especially in its 20th-cent. Thomist form; and so on); philosophy of pedagogy and education, especially in contrasting accounts of the notion of the university, from medieval/seminary contexts to the 19th/20th-cent. notion of the research university; and accounts of friendship and eros/hetero- and homo-erotic relationships, from Plato to current thought.

I have my undergraduate formation at Thomas Aquinas College (California/USA) to thank—especially with its revival of the traditional liberal arts curriculum (Trivium/Quadrivium) in undergraduate education—for my primary interests in ancient, late antique, and medieval philosophy and theology, as well as in their application in current thought and contemporary aporiai.

  1. For a great summary and collection of papers from various Tübingen School figures, see Dimitri Nikulin’s (ed.) The Other Plato: The Tübingen Interpretation of Plato’s Inner-Academic Teachings

  2. For an excellent history of this movement in the 20th/early 21st century, see Mark Sedgwick’s book, Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century and, on the recent, contemporary manifestations in Steve Bannon, Aleksandr Dugin, and others, Benjamin Teitelbaum’s War for Eternity: Inside Bannon’s Far-Right Circle of Global Power Brokers