In Douglas Hedley & David Leech (eds.), Revisioning Cambridge Platonism: Sources and Legacy. Springer Verlag. pp. 13-30 (2019)

Anna Corrias
Cambridge University
The philosophy of Henry More was deeply indebted to the philosophical tradition of late antiquity. His metaphysics, clearly inspired by the magnificent synthesis of Plato, Plotinus and the later Platonists operated in the fifteenth century by Marsilio Ficino, relied on the continuity of being between Spirit and Matter, which also justified the presence of daemons and disembodied souls within the natural world. However, More fiercely criticised all forms of religious worship in which dii medioxumi were regarded as a mean to rejoin with God, including theurgy, or philosophical magic. Theurgy, which was aimed at purifying the soul and reuniting it with the divine, had a central place in the works of the Platonists who followed Plotinus. Intriguingly, More accepted the theoretical premises of theurgy, i.e., the ontological continuity between the natural and the divine worlds, but condemned its practice, which involved the deification of daemons and minor gods. This criticism can be fully understood only if looked at within the context of More’s iconoclastic polemic against the Roman Catholics.
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DOI 10.1007/978-3-030-22200-0_2
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