124Neoplatonic Interpretation of Paul’s Passage in Ioane Petritsi: Theory on Matter
This article considers interrelationship between Neoplatonic philosophy/metaphysics and Christian religion in thought of 13th century Georgian philosopher Ioane Petritsi, on an example of his interpretation of one passage from St. Paul’s Epistle to Romans (Rom. 4. 17). This passage was only tangentially tackled in previous studies. The significance of this paper is to identify the nature of Petritsi’s attempt to harmonize the two – Biblical and philosophical – traditions. Particularly, how does Petritsi treat the Biblical text, which has origin quite different from that of philosophical texts; does he have two different discourses and tries to find meeting points between them, or does he have only one, metaphysical discourse and interprets the Biblical texts from the metaphysical standpoint. This question is of interest, because Petritsi’s philosophical or theological stance still represents a point of discord between scholars: for some he is a patently Orthodox thinker who uses philosophy only for explication of Christian truth, for others he may seem to be a philosopher who uses the Biblical texts only as homage to the official Church tradition without sincerely believing in direct relation between the ideas of the Bible and those of the Platonists. The article is to shed light on exactly those questions.