Plotinus’ Metaphysics of light: theoretical approach to Scholastic christian art

Estiven Valencia Marín


What is introduced as metaphysics of light attached to religious connotation, turns out to be one of the most dominant and discussed topics during the medieval period, though more exhaustive addressed during the scholastic period, that is, from the late-ninth century to the middle-fourteenth. Nevertheless, thoughts about the idea of lux began with Neoplatonism, more precisely with the Egyptian Plotinus who championed the idea of revitalizing the doctrine of the Academy, which was founded by Plato. In fact, consideration about light stands out as one of the elements that had repercussions on medieval patristic philosophy, establishing a solid base for formulations of Christian dogma. Bearing this in mind, the purpose of the article is to introduce some meanings of the concept of lux, as developed by Plotinus of Lycopolis, aiming for a better understanding of the symbolic consequences of this idea for theological considerations and arts during the scholastic period.


Plotinus; Metaphysics; Theology of Light; Scholasticism; Aesthetics of Light; Medieval Art