Spanning the Chasm Between the Divine and the Human

Recently I’ve been undertaking a reading of some of the major Platonic dialogues which I have never before read. Here’s a fascinating passage from the Symposium about the nature and duties of Love:

“[Love] interprets,” [Diotima] replied, “between gods and men, conveying and taking across to the gods the prayers and sacrifices of men, and to men the commands and replies of the gods; he is the mediator who spans the chasm which divides them, and therefore in him all is bound together, and through him the arts of the prophet and the priest, their sacrifices and mysteries and charms, and all prophecy and incantation, find their way. For god mingles not with man; but through Love all the intercourse and converse of god with man, whether awake or asleep, is carried on. The knowledge which understands this is spiritual; all other knowledge, such as that of arts and handicrafts, is mean and vulgar…”.:”(Symposium 202d-203a, in Essential Dialogues of Plato, trans. Benjamin Jowett [New York: Barnes and Noble Classics, 2005], pg. 95.)”:

Love bridges the chasm between God and man. No wonder many of the Church Fathers believed that Greek philosophy was a “preparation for the Gospel.”

This entry was posted in Ancient Greece, Christianity and Classical Culture, Plato. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.