F.J.H. HORT AND THE CAMBRIDGE PLATONISTS

In my last blog, I referred to  Brooke Foss Westcott (1825–1901) and the foundation of St Stephen’s College in Delhi. I mentioned him in relation to his profound and open debt to the Cambridge Platonists. This remarkable scholar was  responsible for the Greek New Testament text sometimes referred to as the  Westcott and Hort text or the WH, because it was edited by Westcott  and Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828–1892) from 1853 until its completion in 1881. F J H Hort was, like Westcott, a great admirer of the Cambridge Platonists. And Hort saw the Cambridge Platonists as belonging to a longer Alexandrian Christian tradition. This can be seen by visiting Emmanuel chapel today and the collection of Church figures accorded to a plan devised by Hort and executed in 1884. Hort was a fellow of Emmanuel from 1872 to 1892. The windows in the chapel were originally plain but Hort’s elective affinities can be seen in his choice of Images of Benjamin Whichcote, John Smith and Peter Sterry.  These seventeenth century figures are presented as the  intellectual and spiritual heirs of Origen and Eriugena. Today any visitor to the chapel can see Hort’s vision of the Cambridge Platonists as the great Early Modern heirs of Alexandrian Platonism. Information about these chapel widows can be found at: https://www.emma.cam.ac.uk/chapel/windows/

DOUGLAS HEDLEY


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