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Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism

Our Work

The Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism is a forum for research on the Platonic Tradition, especially Neoplatonism, its sources, significance and legacy. Neoplatonism is the shape that Platonism took in Late Antiquity, especially through Plotinus and Proclus, and influenced decisively the philosophies of the Christian, Jewish and Muslim worlds. ‘Neoplatonism’ is thus a term that denotes not so much one school of philosophy, but rather an intellectual paradigm, and a way of life, disseminating its influence in myriad forms of thought and culture.

Committed to both the significance of this tradition and its continuing relevance, the centre hosts a weekly seminar on a key Neoplatonic text and supports symposia and research projects in the field. 

Full site:


Prof. Hedley's Inaugural Lecture

Upcoming Events

Weekly Reading Seminars:

Plotinus III.5 - Tuesdays, 11.00, Faculty of Divinity, Room 2

Eriugena Periphyseon I - Thursdays, 14.00, Faculty of Divinity, Room 7


Werner Beierwaltes Lectures



Beierwaltes Seminars:

III. Ex 3:14: “I am that I am“ - 7th July, 9.00–19.00 - Abstracts due: 20th April 2018. Click here for full call for papers.

IV. The greatest kinds - 20th October, 9.00-19.00 - Abstracts due:  17th August 2018. Click here for full call for papers.


Recent Events

Pictures and Audio from Prof. Zovko's Beierwaltes lecture:

Pictures and Audio from Prof. Hedley's Inaugural Lecture:

Pictures and Audio from Prof. Clark's Beierwaltes Lecture on Godlike Virtues:


Pictures and Audio from Prof. Tarrant's Beierwaltes Lecture on Platonism’s Resilience and Adaptability:


Pictures and Audio from Prof. Gerson's Beierwaltes Lecture on The Platonic System:


Pictures and Audio from Prof. Hare's Beierwaltes Lecture on Augustine's De Libero Arbitrio:



Prof. Douglas Hedley, Dr. David Leech, Dr. James Bryson, Dr. Mark Burden, Dr. Christian HengstermannDr. Michael HawkinsThe Cambridge Platonists at the origins of Enlightenment: texts, debates, and reception (1650-1730). This project, is funded by an £833,472 AHRC research grant. For more, see Cambridge Platonism at the Origins of the Enlightenment. The Centre initially emerged out of the AHRC grant The Cambridge Platonists at the Origins of Enlightenment: texts, debates and reception. The Cambridge Platonists are unintelligible without reference to the broader Platonic tradition in the West and form a crucial juncture between Platonism ancient and modern.

Dr. Dragos Calma (PI), ERC-2017-COG_NeoplAT: Neoplatonism and Abrahamic Traditions. A Comparative Analysis of the Middle East, Byzantium and the Latin West (9th-16th Centuries), €1,992,643. (Click here for description)

Dr. Adrian Mihai - The project, which is funded for two years by the British Academy (Newton International Fellowship), consists in providing the first critical edition of Ralph Cudworth’s 'The True Intellectual System of the Universe' (London: Richard Royston, 1678). Though Ralph Cudworth (1617-1688), leading figure of the Cambridge Platonists group, has been recognised in recent years as one of the most important British philosophers of the 17th-century, there is still no critical edition of his magnum opus that meets the standards of modern philology and that is up-to-date with research both in Classical and in Modern European thought (the last edition was published in 1845).


Prof. Douglas Hedley, Gods and Giants: Cudworth’s platonic metaphysics and his ancient theology, British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Routledge, 2017. (Link to full article)

Prof. Douglas Hedley, The Iconic Imagination, London, Bloomsbury, 2016.

Dr. Christian Hengstermann, Origenes und der Ursprung der Freiheitsmetaphysik, Münster, Aschendorff Verlag, 2017.

Dr. Barrie Fleet, Plotinus Ennead IV.7: On the Immortality of the Soul; Translation, with an Introduction, and Commentary, Las Vegas, Parmenides Press, 2016.

Prof. Harold Tarrant, Proclus: Commentary on Plato's Timaeus, vol. 6, Book 5, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2017.

Dr. Dragos Calma, Neoplatonism in the Middle Ages New Commentaries on 'Liber de Causis' and 'Elementatio Theologica', Turnhout, Brepols, 2016.

Dr. Dragos Calma, Forthcoming, Regards sur les traditions philosophiques, Leuven University Press.


Previous Events

3 June 2018 - Concepts of God and Man in Henry More’s Critique of Spinoza

2 June 2018 - Click here for the colloquium program, focusing on the work of Prof. Anders-Christian Jacobsen. Click here for pictures

1 June - Prof. Marie-Elise Zovko – “Abfall von der Idee”*: Repercussions of Baader’s Russian expedition in Hegel’s Encylopedia

7 May 2018 - Prof. Douglas Hedley's Inaugural Lecture - 'Devout Contemplation and Sublime Fancy': The Cambridge Platonists and their Legacy for the Philosophy of Religion - 5pm, Runcie Room, Cambridge Divinity Faculty

Prof. Stephen Clark - 1 May 2018 - 'Godlike Virtues' - 5pm, Runcie Room

Prof. Harold Tarrant - 24 April 2018 - 'Platonism's Resilience and Adaptability in the Face of Crisis: Lessons from ten centuries of Ancient Platonism'

Workshop - Hegel on Religion - 16 March 2018 - Click here for Program

Workshop - Anne Conway - 10 March 2018 - Click here for Program

Prof. Lloyd Gerson, The Platonic System - 19 February 2018; Time: 5pm; Runcie Room

Werner Beierwaltes Lecture - Professor John Hare, Noah Porter Professor of Divinity and Professor of Philosophy and of Religious Studies, Yale University - Augustine's proof of God in 'De Libero Arbitrio' - 5 February, 5pm - Runcie Room

Workshop - Michael Gill - 15 January 2018 - The Cambridge Platonists and the Origins of Modern Secular Ethics; Cambridge Faculty of Divinity (Thirkill Room, Clare College, 2pm)

Inaugural Werner Beierwaltes Lecture - Prof. John Dillon, Platonic Orthodoxy - 30 November 2017; Time: 16:30, Cambridge Faculty of Divinity, Runcie Room (flyer)

Religion and Philosophy in Origenism Old and New II - 25th November 2017, Divinity Faculty Cambridge - Programme

Colloquium Adamantianum - Divine and Human Freedom, The Philosophical Significance of the Church Father Origen - 23 October 10:00-18:00 - Cambridge Divinity Faculty, Room 4 - Conference Report - Programme

Dr. Anna CorriasMarsilio Ficino and the Metaphysics Beyond Reason of Plotinus' Enneads - 13 March 2017

Prof. Michael AllenTransfiguration and the Platonic Fire Within - 1 December 2016


External Resources

Cambridge Platonist Research Group

American Academy of Religion Platonism Section

Our People


Prof. Douglas Hedley

Academic Secretary:
Daniel J. Tolan

Steering Committee:

Prof. Garth Fowden 

Prof. Catherine Pickstock

Dr. Tony Street

Dr. Daniel Weiss 


Prof. Olivier Boulnois (Ecole pratique des hautes études, Paris)

Prof. Kevin Corrigan (Emory University)

Prof. Stephen Gersh (University of Notre Dame)

Prof. Philippe Hoffmann (Ecole pratique des hautes études, Paris)

Prof. Sarah Hutton (University of York)

Prof. Paul Kalligas (University of Athens)

Prof. John Kenney (Saint Michael's College, VT)

Dr. David Leech (University of Bristol)

Prof. Jean-Marc Narbonne (University of Laval)

Prof. Charles M. Stang (Harvard University)

Prof. Anca Vasiliu (Paris IV Sorbonne)


Dr. James Bryson

Dr. Mark Burden (University of Bristol)

Dr. Dragos Calma

Dr. Barrie Fleet

Dr. Christian Hengstermann (University of Münster) (EU Human Dignity Project)

Dr. Isidoros (Charalampos) Katsos (Dr. Jur.)

Dr. Evan King (University of King's College, Halifax)

Dr. Adrian Mihai

Prof. Harold Tarrant (University of Newcastle, AU)

Research Associates:

Bogdan Deznan (University of Bucharest)

Dr. Marilyn Lewis (University of Bristol) (EU Human Dignity Project)

Affiliated Institutions:

Early Modern Conversions - McGill University

Münster Origen Research Centre

Foro di Studi Avanzati - Rome

Laval - Chaire de recherche du Canada en Antiquité critique et modernité émergente