Religion Past and Present

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[German Version]

I. Early Use of the Term

In Neoplatonism (Porphyry, Iamblichus, Proclus,Damascius, Magical papyri), the term ϑεοσοφία/theosophía (“wisdom concerning divine things”) denotes a knowledge of God combining elements of wisdom, mysticism, speculative metaphysics, and initiation into mysteries. For the church fathers, theosophy and theology were often used synonymous (adverbially in Clement of Alexandria, theosophy since Eus. Praep. I 5.12 and esp.…

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Frenschkowski, Marco, “Theosophy”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 24 September 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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