In Douglas Hedley & David Leech (eds.), Revisioning Cambridge Platonism: Sources and Legacy. Springer Verlag. pp. 241-257 (2019)

Derek A. Michaud
University of Maine
John Smith was among the first of the Cambridge Platonists. He was therefore in a position to influence not only his contemporaries but all those who followed after him well into the twentieth century and beyond. Well established lines of influence both to and from Whichcote, Cudworth, and More are explored first before moving on to less well-known connections to Bishop Simon Patrick and mathematician Isaac Barrow. Smith’s continued significance for eighteenth century theology is demonstrated through discussion of his inspiration of the doctrines of spiritual sensation developed by Jonathan Edwards and John Wesley. Special notice is also given to Smith’s authority as an interpreter of Biblical prophecy through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The chapter concludes with looks at Smith’s influence on Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Ralph Inge, Rufus Jones, Pierre Hadot, and others. This chapter, offers a broad, but highly selective, overview of the reception and influence of Smith’s life and work. It is intended, however, as a call for future research more than as an authoritative presentation of Smith’s legacy. For, if the Cambridge Platonists have been underappreciated until recently, none of them have been unjustly ignored as consistently as Smith.
Keywords John Smith  Cambridge Platonism  Plotinus
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DOI 10.1007/978-3-030-22200-0_14
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