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Religion History

On the Christian Religion

by (author) Marsilio Ficino

introduction and notes by Dan Attrell, Brett Bartlett & David Porreca

Publisher
University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2022
Category
History, History, Theology, Medieval
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9781487543549
    Publish Date
    Oct 2022
    List Price
    $85.00
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781487543563
    Publish Date
    Oct 2022
    List Price
    $85.00

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Description

This is the first translation into English of Marsilio Ficino’s De Christiana religione, a text first written in Latin in 1474, the year after its author’s ordination in the Roman Catholic Church. On the Christian Religion is this Florentine humanist’s attempt to lay out the history of the religion of Christ, the Logos ("Word" or "Reason"), in accordance with the doctrines of ancient philosophy. The work focuses on how Christ in his pre-incarnate form was revealed as much to certain ancient pagan sages and prophets as to those of the Old Testament, and how both groups played an equal role in foreshadowing the ultimate fulfillment of all the world’s religions in Christianity.

 

The first part elucidates the history of the prisca theologia – the ancient theology – a single natural religion shared by the likes of Zoroaster, Hermes Trismegistus, Orpheus, Aglaophemus, Pythagoras, and Plato, and how it was fulfilled by Christ’s incarnation and the spread of his Church through his apostles. The second part of the work, however, constitutes a series of attacks against the ways in which the books of the Old Testament were variously interpreted by Islamic and, more importantly, Jewish sages who threatened Ficino’s own Christological interpretations of Scripture.

 

This new English translation includes an introduction that situates the text within the broader scope of Ficino’s intellectual activity and historical context. The book allows us to encounter a more nuanced image of Ficino, that of him as a theologian, historian, and anti-Jewish, anti-Islamic, anti-pagan polemicist.

About the authors

Marsilio Ficino was an Italian scholar and Catholic priest who was one of the most influential humanist philosophers of the early Italian Renaissance.

Marsilio Ficino's profile page

David Porreca is Associate Professor of Classical Studies and codirector of the Medieval Studies program at the University of Waterloo and is president of the Societas Magica.

Dan Attrell's profile page

Brett Bartlett is an independent scholar of Latin.

Brett Bartlett's profile page

David Porreca is Associate Professor of Classical Studies and codirector of the Medieval Studies program at the University of Waterloo and is president of the Societas Magica.

David Porreca's profile page

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