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The Platonic Tradition: Plato's Contribution to Western Civilization

Jerry Dell Ehrlich Ph.D.

ISBN 10: 1507571631 / ISBN 13: 9781507571637
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Title: The Platonic Tradition: Plato's Contribution...

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Publication Date: 2015

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Good

About this title


The Platonic Tradition - Plato's Influence on Western Civilization is a 42 page article. “And we should consider that God gave the sovereign part of the human soul to be the divinity of each one of us...and inasmuch as we are a plant not of an earthly but of a heavenly growth, raises us from earth to our kindred who are in heaven” (Plato Timaeus 90a) 1 Such are the words of Plato in his Timaeus. The dialogues of Plato are the source of all of Western Spirituality, yet we hardly know him. He has been followed, studied, loved and adored by those who are aware of what he brought to humanity. Constantine Ritter, the great German Platonist who died in 1936, ended his condensed book on Plato with these words: “In this I tried briefly to characterize Plato’s meaning for all time. To me, he is a philosopher second to none; an artist of first rank; a man favored by God as few others have been; unforgettable for all time; releasing spiritual powers which have been a blessing to many and which will continue to be a blessing for all time.”2 Yet, for the great majority of humanity, including those trained in theology, have never met the man, Plato, and many of those who have met him have misread him, criticized him unfairly, and in some cases put him in hell, as did Dante in his Divine Comedy. His philosophy is in the very air we breathe and is the oxygen of our spiritual being, yet we do not even notice him. This was stated well by Alfred Edward Taylor in his Platonism and its Influence in these words: “If we sometimes underestimate our debt in these matters to Plato, it is only because Platonic ideas have become so completely part and parcel of our best tradition in morals and religion. His influence, like the pressure of the atmosphere, goes undetected because we never really get free from it.”3 The final introductory quotation I shall give in summary are the words of Alfred North Whitehead in his Process and Reality. “The safest general characterization of European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”4 Whoever you are, a philosopher or a spiritual minister, remember, honor to whom honor is due, you are a footnote to Plato, and in that you are indeed fortunate.

About the Author:

I began my adult life with the desire to be a Lutheran Clergyman, and after graduating from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, I served as a minister for 13 years, at which time I decided, that for personal satisfaction and intellectual growth, to return to the University of Missouri at Kansas City to earn a Master of Arts in history and then to the University of Missouri at Columbia and earned my Ph.D. in history with a minor in philosophy. Then I returned to the working world by teaching one year at California Lutheran University. But, for the sake of financial security, I worked in financial services for the next 16 years to solidify my retirement needs. That, in my estimation, was achieved by the end of 1997, so I decided that at that time I would become a writer about the things that interested me the most: philosophy, history, ethics and the spiritual life. I found the substance of the Platonic Tradition to be much to my liking and satisfaction. The following books that I wrote are listed in chronological order so that it is evident the way in which my intellectual life developed: Plato’s Gift to Christianity, Building a Life by Carpenter Jesus: with supplementary wisdom from both Western Classical and Eastern Sages, The Joy of Embracing God: humanity’s longing for the eternal, The Platonic Bible, Platonic Island, and the Profound Charm of Plato: a defense of his greatness. Four years ago I decided to open a bookstore and carry especially those books that pleased the learned and those who wanted to become learned. I started with my own library of about 4,500 books but now have an inventory of over 16,000 books. Because of my store, POSTMODERN BOOKSTORE, I have met some very wonderful people who have been well pleased to have such a bookstore in their area. I still do some writing and teaching for the sake of letting my spirit breathe through the printed and spoken word. Jerry Dell Ehrlich, M.Div., M.A., Ph.D.

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