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Both the Thunder: Perfect Mind (NHC VI,2) and the Trimorphic Protennoia (NHC XIII,1) present their readers with goddesses who descend in such auditive terms as sound, voice, and word. In Linguistic Manifestations in the Trimorphic Protennoia and the Thunder: Perfect Mind, Tilde Bak Halvgaard argues that these presentations reflect a philosophical discussion about the nature of words and names, utterances and language, as well as the relationship between language and reality, inspired especially by Platonic and Stoic dialectics.
Her analysis of these linguistic manifestations against the background of ancient philosophy of language offers many new insights into the structure of the two texts and the paradoxical sayings of the Thunder: Perfect Mind.
Editors: Joey Dodson and David Briones
Paul and Seneca in Dialogue assembles an international group of scholars to compare the philosophical and theological strands in Paul and Seneca’s writings, placing them in dialogue with one another. Arguably, no other first-century, non-Christian writer’s thoughts resemble Paul’s as closely as Seneca’s, and scholars have often found value in comparing Pauline concepts with Seneca’s writings. Nevertheless, apart from the occasional article, broad comparison, or cross-reference, an in-depth critical comparison of these writers has not been attempted for over fifty years – since Sevenster’s monograph of 1961. In the light of the vast amount of research offering new perspectives on both Paul and Seneca since the early 1960s, this new comparison of the two writers is long overdue.
This first volume of the new Brill series “Ancient Philosophy & Religion” is a collection of articles by scholars of Classics, Ancient Philosophy, and Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity. The articles are based on papers presented at two colloquia on the interface between Ancient Philosophy and Religion at the universities of Aarhus and Cambridge. They focus extensively on Platonic philosophy and piety and sketch an emerging religio-philosophical discourse in ancient Judaism (both in the Sibylline Oracles and 4 Maccabees). Furthermore, this volume studies Seneca’s religio-philosophical understanding of 'consolation', compares early depictions of Jesus with those of ancient philosophers, and, finally, reconsiders responses of pagan philosophers to Christianity from the second century to Late Antiquity.
A Study of the Impact of Platonism on the “Fifth Gospel”
Now available in Open Access thanks to the support of the University of Helsinki. In The Gospel of Thomas and Plato, Ivan Miroshnikov contributes to the study of the earliest Christian engagements with philosophy by offering the first systematic discussion of the impact of Platonism on the Gospel of Thomas, one of the most intriguing and cryptic works among the Nag Hammadi writings. Miroshnikov demonstrates that a Platonist lens is indispensable to the understanding of a number of the Thomasine sayings that have, for decades, remained elusive as exegetical cruces. The Gospel of Thomas is thus an important witness to the early stages of the process that eventually led to the Platonist formulation of certain Christian dogmata.
Brill’s Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity offers a comprehensive account of the ways in which ancient readers responded to Plato, as philosopher, as author, and more generally as a central figure in the intellectual heritage of Classical Greece, from his death in the fourth century BCE until the Platonist and Aristotelian commentators in the sixth century CE. The volume is divided into three sections: ‘Early Developments in Reception’ (four chapters); ‘Early Imperial Reception’ (nine chapters); and ‘Early Christianity and Late Antique Platonism’ (eighteen chapters). Sectional introductions cover matters of importance that could not easily be covered in dedicated chapters. The book demonstrates the great variety of approaches to and interpretations of Plato among even his most dedicated ancient readers, offering some salutary lessons for his modern readers too.
Platonic Theories of Prayer is a collection of ten essays on the topic of prayer in the later Platonic tradition. The volume originates from a panel on the topic held at the 2013 ISNS meeting in Cardiff, but is supplemented by a number of invited papers. Together they offer a comprehensive view of the various roles and levels of prayer characteristic of this period. The concept of prayer is shown to include not just formal petitionary or encomiastic prayer, but also theurgical practices and various states of meditation and ecstasy practised by such major figures as Plotinus, Porphyry, Iamblichus, Proclus, Damascius or Dionysius the Areopagite.
“The Religious Spirit of Plutarch of Chaironeia” and “The Life of Mark Antony”
The present book Frederick E. Brenk: Plutarch, Religious Thinker and Biographer, “The Religious Spirit of Plutarch of Chaironeia” and “The Life of Mark Antony” includes the updated and revised version of two seminal articles on Plutarch by F. E. Brenk published thirty years ago in ANRW. Edited by Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta, both articles cover the two sides of Plutarch’s corpus, the Lives and Moralia.
The title of this volume A Man of Many Interests: Plutarch on Religion, Myth, and Magic. Essays in honour of Aurelio Pérez Jiménez is first and foremost a coalescing homage to Plutarch and to Aurelio, and to the way they have been inspiring (as master and indirect disciple) a multitude of readers in their path to knowledge, here metonymically represented by the scholars who offer their tribute to them.
The analysis developed throughout the several contributions favors a philological approach of wide spectrum, i.e., stemming from literary and linguistic aspects, it projects them into their cultural, religious, philosophical, and historical framework. The works were organized into two broad sections, respectively devoted to the Lives and to the Moralia.
Studies in Hermias’ Commentary on Plato’s Phaedrus is a collection of twelve essays that consider aspects of Hermias’ philosophy, including his notions of the soul, logic, and method of exegesis. The essays also consider Hermias’ work in the tradition of Neoplatonism, particularly in relation to the thought of Iamblichus and Proclus. The collection grapples with the question of the originality of Hermias’ commentary—the only extant work of Hermias—which is a series of lectures notes of his teacher, Syrianus.
Providence, Dualism, and Will in Later Greek and Early Christian Philosophy
Author: Dylan M. Burns
Is God involved? Why do bad things happen to good people? What is up to us? These questions were explored in Mediterranean antiquity with reference to ‘providence’ ( pronoia). In Did God Care? Dylan Burns offers the first comprehensive survey of providence in ancient philosophy that brings together the most important Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Syriac sources, from Plato to Plotinus and the Gnostics.

Burns demonstrates how the philosophical problems encompassed by providence transformed in the first centuries CE, yielding influential notions about divine care, evil, creation, omniscience, fate, and free will that remain with us today. These transformations were not independent developments of ‘Pagan philosophy’ and ‘Christian theology,’ but include fruits of mutually influential engagement between Hellenic and Christian philosophers.