The Division Of Nature (Periphyseon). John Scotus Eriugena. Book I. TEACHER: Often I investigate as carefully as I can and reflect that of all things which can. John Scotus Eriugena (c/) Works (Selected List). Periphyseon ( The Division of Nature, ) Such is the first division of nature into genera. Eriugena is mainly remembered for his volu- minous work the Periphyseon [On Nature] or, in its Latin title, De Divisione. Naturae [The Division of Nature).

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It is his further statement concerning the nature of God’s making that is troublesome.

The Word enfolds in itself the Ideas or Primary Causes of all things and in that sense all things are always already in God: But we do not want to dwell on the putative pantheism of Erigena. Thus, the reference to Plato in the earlier quotation does not have any clear meaning.

A History of Western Philosophy

The latter possibility makes at least metaphorical sense if we think of God as scotud through or permeating all creatures. According to this classification, God, because of his transcendence is said not to be. All Being is included in the infinite unity of God. This will have dramatically important consequences in Erigena’s theory on the return of things to God. Notre Dame University Press. Nature Which Is Created and Creates.

His familiarity with Aristotle was also indirect — tthe the anonymous but widely circulated compilation, Categoriae decemthe Pseudo-Augustinian paraphrase of Aristotle’s Categories.

Books Four and Five, originally planned as one book, discuss the return epistrophereditusreversio of all things to God. It is this very incomprehensibility of God, on which Erigena insists in talking about the reach of our language, that leads him to speak of creatures as manifestations of God, or theophanies.

The master is just that: This point will come up again in the sequel. Since God cannot be said to be anything, God cannot be simply identified with any or every creature either. July Learn how and when to remove this template message. John arrives before Peter, but eriugeja waits and allows Peter, the symbol of faith, to go in before him.


Influence Eriugena’s Periphyseon had immediate influence in France, notably at the schools of Laon, Auxerre and Corbie. Outline of Major Works 5. It is possible he made other translations which have not survived or which cannot be definitively attributed to him. The earth which is found in the middle in the manner of a center is history around which, like water, flows the sea of the moral sense: Erigina replies that such statements encompass the two theologies, for they have both affirmative and negative overtones.

John Scottus Eriugena

Erigena adverts to previous remarks of his own and to the nature of the theologian’s task in stating that since it seems clear that assertions about God are based only on what we can know of him in his effects, no statement about God can be tthe of what God is like in himself.

God shall be all in all omnia in omnibusV c. Whether or not he died by the pen, he has managed to survive in his writings, to the content of which we will now turn.

Neither “Essence” nor “Accident” can adequately describe the being of God. So, sexual difference really makes no difference for humans, or as Eriugena boldly puts it: Eriugena sometimes qualifies this by saying that man is by grace per gratiam what God is by nature, quoting Maximus Confessor e. This article needs additional citations for verification. Johannes Scotus Eriugena c.

For all creatures, even a mouse, are made up of the four elements, and will pass away. At this point the profound import of Erigena’s insistence that man is a microcosm is revealed. God’s mind, understood as the logos or verbumcontains in one undivided Form all the reasons for every individual thing. Thus humans participate in God but cannot grasp equality with God.


Scotus Erigena knew Greek well, a rare accomplishment and one which he put to good purpose.

Part II: The Carolingian Renaissance

He later taught at Laon, France. His translations from the Greek made the basic tenets of Neoplatonism known in the West. For just as God is both beyond all things and in all things — for He Who only truly is, is the essence of all things, and while He is whole in all things He diivision not cease to be whole beyond all things, whole in the world, whole around the world, whole in the sensible creature, whole in the intelligible creature, whole creating the joyn, whole created in the universe, whole in the whole of the universe and whole in its parts, since He is both the whole and the part, just as He is neither the whole nor the part — in the same way human nature in its own world in its own subsistence in its own universe and in its invisible and visible parts is whole in itself, and whole in its whole, and whole in its parts, and its parts are whole in themselves and whole in the whole.

We ought not then like irrational creatures only eriugeba the surface of visible things but seek to comprehend what natyre perceived by our bodily senses.

In contrast, God is non-being through the excellence of His nature which transcends all being. Any use of them to speak of God must involve transference, or metaphor.

The first species of efiugena refers to Divine Nature i. John the Scot Joannes Scotus Eriugena.