In spite of some waverings towards what has lately been called " conditional immortality " (see Apologetics) the doctrine of " natural immortality " championed by Augustine became dominant in the church; an instalment of what was afterwards to be called Natural Theology; and a postulate or presupposition to-day - like free will - in Roman Catholic apologetics.
The systematic theosophy of Plotinus and his successors does not belong to the present article, except so far as it is the presupposition of their mysticism; but, inasmuch as the mysticism of the medieval Church is directly derived from Neoplatonism through the speculations of the pseudo-Dionysius, Neoplatonic mysticism fills an important section in any historical review of the subject.
The distinguishing characteristic of scholasticism is the acceptance by reason of a given matter, the truth of which is independent of rational grounds, and which remains a presupposition even when it cannot be understood.
The general presupposition involved is that a man cannot be saved except within the Catholic Church.
It presents itself historically as an intellectual revolt against the difficulties involved in the presupposition of theistic and polytheistic systems, and in philosophy as an attempt to solve the dualism of the one and the many, unity and difference, thought and extension.