International Network for Byzantine Philosophy

The official blog and Facebook page of the International Network for Byzantine Philosophy.  On the blog you will find short communications, reflections and announcements of events and publications related to the field of Byzantine Philosophy.

The Facebook page exists to foster engagement between scholars and members of the public who have an interest in Byzantine Philosophy, broadly conceived.  Here we will post news, events and resources related to the field and invite respectful feedback and collaboration.

The initiative for the International Network for Byzantine Philosophy has arisen from the increasing body of published texts and studies in Byzantine philosophy. It is only in the last twenty years or so that we have seen growth in this field of Byzantine studies following the pioneering work of Basil Tatakis (1896-1996) and Linos Benakis (b. 1928-). More recent work has taken the subject forward by defining what is meant by ‘Byzantine philosophy’, rather than ‘philosophy in Byzantium’. Study of the subject remained problematic because few took the Byzantines seriously, often because it was thought there was no one who stood comparison with the great medieval figures of the Latin west or the Islamic east. Thankfully such comparisons are no longer made with scholars prepared to discuss Byzantine philosophy as a topic its own right. However, much work awaits the editing of Byzantine philosophical texts as well as the reception history of those texts, both in Byzantium itself and by other cultures.

The recently published Cambridge Intellectual History of Byzantium, edited by Anthony Kaldellis and Niketas Siniossoglou (2017), has further helped to bring the topic to the fore. This volume has been voted the best Single Volume Reference in the Humanities and Social Sciences of 2018 by the American Publishers Awards. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has an entry on Byzantine philosophy, but more are needed on individual authors, such as John of Damascus, Michael Psellos, Eustratius of Nicaea, Michael of Ephesus, and Gemistos Plethon. Yet there is still some way to go before standard reference works of philosophy include a section on Byzantine philosophy. The International Network for Byzantine Philosophy will help promote the subject area and encourage scholars to contribute news and events. It seems this is an opportune moment to establish the Network so that ideas and information can be exchanged and new work and research publicised.

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