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.
From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity
Edited by Anders Klostergaard Petersen and George H. van Kooten
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.
In Heraclitus and Thales’ Conceptual Scheme: A Historical Study Aryeh Finkelberg offers an alternative to the traditional teleological interpretation of early Greek thought. Instead of explaining it as targeted at later results, viz. philosophy, as this thought was first conceptualized by Aristotle and has been regarded ever since, the author seeks to determine its intended meaning by restoring it to its historical context as evinced, inter alia, by epigraphic and papyrological evidence, in particular the Gold Leaves, the Olbian bone plates, and the Derveni papyrus. This approach, together with a considerable amount of hitherto unidentified or largely disregarded evidence, yields a picture of early Greek thought significantly different from the traditional history of ‘Presocratic philosophy’.