Translated by Thomas Taylor
Elements of Theology is one of the great books of the Platonic tradition: its scope is the whole sphere of “authentic reality” which Plato had commended to all who aspire to the love of wisdom and which Plotinus had outlined in his Enneads. It takes as its starting point the one—the highest and most abstract idea that the human mind can affirm—and follows its unfoldment through division, definition, demonstration and analysis. It shows how the one is perfectly manifest in the Gods and then how it descends and yet is exempt at each succeeding level of intellect, soul and body.
Such is the intensive focus of the work that it accomplishes in no more than a hundred or so pages a precise survey of the essential principles which underlie the great sweep of pre-Socratic, Classical and later Platonic writings. As a work of pure dialectic it is unequalled in the extant writings of the great age of philosophy; the dialectic scheme which Proclus himself describes is here delivered with the force of real intellect.
Because Proclus dares to reach to the very highest point of thought he shows in this work that philosophy is not merely a servant to the physical sciences but a sure guide to the religious devotee and to the mystic (in the proper sense of the term). In the Elements of Theology the truth concerning the plurality of divinity as an inevitable result of the super-causality of is unfolded. It is a truth which all the great civilisations of mankind have acknowledged, each in their own way, and which has inspired the human soul to her profoundest works.
As a true mystic and consummate dialectician, Thomas Taylor is, perhaps, the only English translator known who could have done justice to this work.
Elements of Theology, Proclus, The Prometheus Trust, 2019
Second revised edition. Hardback. Octavo. Purple cloth binding. New. 154 pp.