From Plato to Christ: How Platonic Thought Shaped the Christian Faith, By Louis Markos

From Plato to Christ

How Platonic Thought Shaped the Christian Faith

by Louis Markos

From Plato to Christ
  • Length: 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: August 03, 2021
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 5304
  • ISBN: 9780830853045

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What does Plato have to do with the Christian faith?

Quite a bit, it turns out. In ways that might surprise us, Christians throughout the history of the church and even today have inherited aspects of the ancient Greek philosophy of Plato, who was both Socrates's student and Aristotle's teacher.

To help us understand the influence of Platonic thought on the Christian faith, Louis Markos offers careful readings of some of Plato's best-known texts and then traces the ways that his work shaped the faith of some of Christianity's most beloved theologians, including Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine, Dante, and C. S. Lewis.

With Markos's guidance, readers can ascend to a true understanding of Plato's influence on the faith.

"Christianity is incomprehensible without Platonism. Such is the inescapable conclusion upon reading From Plato to Christ. Deeply committed to the continuing relevance of Plato's dialogues for today's world, Louis Markos takes us both to Plato himself and to key Christian Platonists, instilling in us the same longing for truth, goodness, and beauty that animated Plato and his Christian heirs through the centuries. Here is a book that will inspire you to ascend the rising path and find the higher purpose for which you were born."

Hans Boersma, Saint Benedict Servants of Christ Professor of Ascetical Theology, Nashotah House Theological Seminary

"This is an urgently needed book. That educated persons too often have no knowledge of Plato is a real disaster. With his usual flair and concision, Markos brings forward Plato's greatest insights and describes their reception in the Christian tradition, as well as their rejection by Hobbes and Nietzsche. May the Christian retrieval of the best of Plato—joined by his student Aristotle—commence in earnest!"

Matthew Levering, James N. and Mary D. Perry Jr. Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary

"We need this book because we cannot understand ourselves unless we understand the tradition of thought that has shaped the West, including the church. One of the key thinkers at the root of our culture is Plato. His influence on Christian writers has been immense, yet he is little known and greatly misunderstood today. Louis Markos does us a great service in this accessible and fascinating book, which functions as an introduction to the thought of Plato and an assessment of his influence on major Christian writers from the church fathers to C. S. Lewis."

Craig A Carter, research professor of theology at Tyndale University, Toronto


A Note on Translation

Part I: Plato's Pre-Christian Vision
1. Socrates, the Sophists, and the Presocratics
2. Republic
3. The Myths: Part I
4. The Myths: Part II
5. Laws
6. Timaeus

Part II: Plato's Christian Legacy
7. The Rising Path
8. Origen's Musings
9. Plato in the East: The Three Gregorys
10. Plato in the West: Augustine, Boethius, and Dante
11. From Renaissance to Romanticism: Erasmus, Descartes, and Coleridge
12. C. S. Lewis's Christian Platonism

Conclusion: Plato the Sub-Creator
Bibliographical Essay
Scripture Index


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Louis Markos

Louis Markos (PhD, University of Michigan) is professor of English and scholar in residence at Houston Baptist University. He is the author of many books, including Myth Made Fact: Reading Greek and Roman Mythology through Christian Eyes, Ancient Voices: An Insider's Look at Classical Greece, From Achilles to Christ: Why Christians Should Read the Pagan Classics, Atheism on Trial: Refuting the Modern Arguments Against God, On the Shoulders of Hobbits: The Road to Virtue in Tolkien and Lewis, and Restoring Beauty: The Good, the True, and the Beautiful in the Writings of C. S. Lewis.