Theology and Philosophy in Medieval Georgia
This presentation addresses the broad-ranging topic of the relationship between philosophy and theology by examining Georgian intellectual culture from the 11th -13th centuries. The 11th century is considered the introduction of philosophy in Georgia, as this is when many new translations (beginning with the translations of John Damascene's "Dialectics") were introduced. It is in the 13th century that the period recognized as the “philosophic boom" culminates (as reflected in the work of poet Shota Rustaveli), followed by centuries of decadence. Ioane Petritsi (12th century) was a key figure in pioneering the philosophic/dialectic method in Georgia. He was both a translator and commentator on Proclus's "Elements of Theology" and is worthy of special note; in fact, Petritsi represents a tradition that blurs the line between philosophy and religion, melding the two into a universal system of metaphysical knowledge.
Levan Gigineishvili is an associate professor at Ilia State University (Tbilisi, Georgia). He received a PhD from the CEU Medieval Studies in 2000. His doctoral dissertation, entitled "The Platonic Theology of Ioane Petritsi," was published in book form by Gorgias Press (USA) in 2007. He has taught courses such as Byzantine literature, Christianity and Paganism in Late Antiquity, and the History of Medieval Philosophy at Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University and Ilia State University. He is currently working on an English translation and critical edition of Ioane Petritsi's annotated translation of Proclus' "Elements of Theology."