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Universal Salvation in Late AntiquityPorphyry of Tyre and the Pagan-Christian Debate$
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Michael Bland Simmons

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190202392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190202392.001.0001

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The Philosophia ex oraculis

The Philosophia ex oraculis

A Tripartite Soteriological Universalism

(p.126) 7 The Philosophia ex oraculis
Universal Salvation in Late Antiquity

Michael Bland Simmons

Oxford University Press

The fine points of Porphyry’s tripartite soteriological system are investigated in this chapter, showing how each of the three ways of salvation functioned. Gustavus Wolff’s thematic classification of the three books of Philosophy from Oracles (gods, angels and demons, heroes) is shown to have been devised arbitrarily, and evidence derived from the remaining fragments of the work allows for a new classification according to Porphyry’s tripartite soteriological system. The first way offered a cleansing of the lower soul for the uneducated masses primarily by means of theurgy and involvement in the traditional cults. The second way offered salvation for the lower soul by means of the virtue of continence, which brought about a separation of the soul from being too dependent on corporeal reality. The third way offered purification of the higher soul by means of Neoplatonic philosophy for the mature philosopher.

Keywords:   Gustavus Wolff, Philosophy from Oracles, Fragments, De regressu animae, Augustine, Eunapius

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