Plato, Eros & Beautiful Bodies. A critique of God: An Anatomy

An MP3 version of this talk, and others, is available at my podcast channel, Talks and Thoughts, available on podcast feeds.

I much enjoyed the conversation with Hetta Howes, Matthew Sweet and Francesca Stavrakopoulou on God: An Anatomy. It was broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking (

We had a good conversation over profound differences, which I develop further here. I think they matter, not just as an academic spat, in this case about God, embodiment and Plato. But because understanding the Athenian right offers a path back to a participative, life-giving relationship with the cosmos.

Put it like this. “The cosmic body is the most beautiful and perfect,” Plato wrote at the end of the Timaeus. So why is it that so many academics presume he despised physicality, in favour of a dry world of abstractions, and what did he actually say?

01:05: Challenging the atheist agenda
01:53 How projections reveal reality and deities
04:33 Critiquing academic assumptions Plato
05:40 Why there are no such things as “Platonic abstractions”
09:34 Why Plato didn’t think the spiritual was immaterial
15:16 Why Plato didn’t separate divine and mortal life
17:13 Christianity’s problem with erotic energy
23:38 Who’s to blame for distorting Plato