Comparing christianity and stoicism essay

Mark has an interesting story to tell — he was a priest, who then left Christianity and found an alternative in Greek philosophy particularly Plato and depth psychology.

Comparing christianity and stoicism essay

Philo of Alexandria was born in 20 B. Philo of Alexandria He has studied philosophy, studied Aristotle and Plato, and, of course, is a faithful student of the Old Testament. We find in his writings an attempt to integrate systematically the thought of the major Greek philosophers and the scriptural truths of the Old Testament.

To be a Hellenized Jew at the time of the life of Jesus Christ is, among other considerations, to be a scholar—someone who has perhaps gone to Athens, but who has in any case regarded the ideas taught in Athens as the apex of philosophical wisdom.

Hellenistic Jews—Diaspora Jews who had adopted the language and culture of the hellenistic world. Contrasted with the Hebraic Jews who remained in Judea and spoke Hebrew. Once there, the visiting scholar sees not merely the statues and classical architecture.

One also breathes the vapors and hears the resonances of that illustrious but now long bygone time. The schools of Athens are still the best. Alexandria has a great library, no doubt, but it is essentially a center for research, far less part of the living and long debate conducted with vigor in Athens at that very time.

Foundation of the Christian Faith St. Paul addresses his letters to people in the vast Roman world as he travels from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

He will confront not only peoples whose practices vary widely, whose own native ideas and theological convictions are of a sort that one would never have found in Athens or in Rome, Comparing christianity and stoicism essay also those who have developed and refined intelligence and philosophical sophistication recently by studying in Athens.

He was surely exposed to it in his native Tarsus, and it is voiced without attribution in his reflections on the natural world and its ordering. Consider 1 Corinthians Indeed, that Stoicism was recognized as perhaps the worthiest adversary is clear from the arguments of the early fathers of the church against such ideas as the physicality of God.

The running battle against such pagan notions will bring out some of the more discerning elements in early Christian philosophy as produced by such figures as Tertullian and Origen, the former actually citing Zeno and Cleanthes favorably.

Stoicism — Bridging Faith and Philosophy Now, again, these debts and debates were inevitable and productive. There should not be, therefore, an unbridgeable distance between the lessons of faith and the lessons of philosophy; the two are hopelessly incompatible.

So there is much intellectual energy devoted to having the philosophical light brought to bear on the authority of faith.

Given the historical period in which these developments are taking place, it is Stoic philosophy that must provide the bridge, or at least the major planks of any bridge, that will lead to the central tenets of Christianity.

Let us consider, then, some of the features of Stoicism that might have been promulgated at the time of the Jewish Christians, as these might be incorporated into the writings of Philo and others, seeing a mission similar to the one Philo had set for himself.

Now, there are obvious points of compatibility, but also problem areas that have to be dealt with. Nonetheless, this force or power is rational in its essential nature, and immortal. Now, in this account, the defining feature of the creative power of the universe is its inexhaustibility and its rationality.

Stoicism offers the obvious proofs for this—consider only the lawfulness of the cosmos itself. In Stoic teaching, particularly later Stoic teaching, knowledge of this kind of divine influence is one of the very preconceptions that a rational being has. This is a very important point. Well, what the Stoics are getting at with this notion of a concept of a divine being part of our very intuitive resources—that belief in such a being is sort of built in—what they are getting at is that a rational being, recognizing the orderliness and lawfulness of the cosmos, must match that up, without further deliberation, with the notion of some rational agency behind it.

You could not get anything of this sort accidentally. Stoicism — a Rational Plan for the Cosmos? Cyprian This is an intuitive conception, natural to the ordinary percipient, who is already a rational being. So again, one need only consult the intuitive resources present in all human beings to ground a belief in a rational plan for the cosmos.

Now, Saint Cyprian, in the 3rd century, would base his arguments for universal brotherhood and the wrongfulness of cruelty to slaves on just this Stoic theory of human rationality.

Stoicism – Bridging Faith and Philosophy

This, of course, is Stoic from start to finish. In these several respects, the Christian fathers were able to argue that certain ultimate truths are actually part of the intuitive resources of our very rationality, gaining for us, as a brotherhood, a special standing within the natural order.Tomorrow is the big event on Stoicism for Everyday Life in London, at which Mark Vernon and I will be discussing the relationship between Stoicism and Christianity.

Mark has an interesting story to tell – he was a priest, who then left Christianity and found an alternative in Greek philosophy. Essay Stoicism. Words 6 Pages.

In the tree of Ethics, there are many twigs and branches that all trace back to a single root: how a person ought to act. Now, the paths that some branches take to get to that single root differ in many ways, yet all arrive at their own definition of how they themselves should live.

Comparing Christianity. Comparing Stoicism and Christianity Anyone who does some reading about Stoicism has encountered books in which it is compared, unfavorably, to Christianity.

These books seem to have been written, at the latest, in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Comparing Christianity and Stoicism Essay - Introduction Over the course of human history every society, even the most culturally isolated of civilizations, has developed some form of faith-system for interpreting and understanding the spiritual and material worlds.

Jul 21,  · I'd like to have a discussion on the similarities between Christianity and Stoicism as was found in the first century, and similarities with cynicism. Christianity and Stoicism Essay - Stoicism emerged in Hellenistic Greece as a new way of reasoning. A way of fulfilling one’s spiritual duty.

It quickly became one of the most important Post Classical Greek philosophies. For the purpose of my analysis, I have focused on the period BC to CE.

Comparing christianity and stoicism essay
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