Philosophy and Religion in the West
(Philosophy and Religion in the West)

This course of lectures is an historical examination of the interaction between philosophical traditions and religious traditions in the West. We begin with the roots of the philosophical tradition in ancient Greece, examining how Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and the neoplatonist philosopher Plotinus dealt with issues concerning God, the soul, and the nature of the cosmos (Lectures One through Five). The key concepts which this tradition contributed to Western religion are the Socratic practice of critical inquiry and the Platonist theory of intelligibility: the notion that the ultimate truth about which we inquire consist in certain timeless Forms or essences which our souls perceive with the "mind's eye." From this notion come the philosophical concepts of the eternity of God, the immortality of the soul, the Fall and "going to heaven" as the soul's return to its native place.