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This article points to some of the ways in which future research into medieval philosophy might help the discussion of eternity break out of its present confines, and examines some modern takes on Boethius, Neoplatonic influences, historicity, and sempiternity. It notes that the Middle Ages' enquiries into the nature of eternity were invariably and intimately intertwined with ontological concerns. Another observation that arises from a comparison of the historical and contemporary readings is that, at the heart of the controversy regarding the temporal and atemporal interpretations of eternity, is a fundamental difference in philosophical intuitions regarding questions of time and knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Medieval Philosophy
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199968855
ISBN (Print)9780195379488
StatePublished - Sep 18 2012


  • Boethius
  • Medieval philosophy
  • Ontological concerns
  • Sempiternity
  • Timelessness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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