One of the most influential contributions made by Plato involved the dualism inherent in his philosophy. He taught a conflict between the ideal and the receptacle, between knowledge and opinion, between soul and body. This battle is largely lost by ordinary people as they are enslaved by their lower passions, but for some, it is possible rise above the earthly attractions and contemplate higher and more significant truths.
Many have again noted the striking correlation between Plato's thought, and the teaching of the New Testament. Paul says the things that are seen are temporal, but the unseen are eternal. He distinguishes the inward man and the outward man, and notes that the outward man is perishing. Most famously, he emphasizes the battle between flesh and spirit.
It was this apparent parallel between Plato and Christianity that gave rise to early Gnosticism. Throughout its history, the Christian faith has been forced to draw a line between Greek and biblical views. Keep this in mind as you consider the material of this lesson.
This wide ranging course starts with the pre-Socratic philosophers of the ancient world, and traces the history of philosophical speculation across the ages up to the present. Included along the way is special attention to the greatest Christian thinkers in history, including Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin and many others.