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This volume, the thirty-fifth year of published proceedings, contains five papers and commentaries presented to the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy during the academic year 2018-19. Paper topics include: evidence for Simplicius as author of the Commentary on the De Anima; Aristotle and Humean theory of motivation, ‘besires’ and desires; moderation in NE 3,10-12 as novel in Aristotle, differing greatly from his contemporaries, especially Plato’s Charmides; Platonic memory and oblivion, mythic sources and cultural influence; Aristotle’s final causality in recovering nature from inanimate mechanism. The commentators take up the themes of these papers, in some instances developing and building on the main argument, while in others offering direct challenges to the principal author’s thesis.
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.
Terror and Intrigue
In Gnostic Countercultures, fourteen scholars investigate countercultural aspects associated with the gnostic which is broadly conceived with reference to the claim to have special knowledge of the divine, which either transcends or transgresses conventional religious knowledge. The papers explore the concept of the gnostic in Western culture from the ancient world to the modern New Age. Contributors trace the emergence, persistence, and disappearance of gnostic religious currents that are perceived to be countercultural, inverted, transgressive and/or subversive in their relationship to conventional religions and their claims to knowledge. The essays represent a selection of the papers delivered at the international congress Gnostic Countercultures: Terror and Intrigue convened at Rice University, March 26-28, 2015. The essays were originally published in Gnosis 1.1-2 (2016) and are available for the first time under separate cover.
In: Did God Care?
In: Did God Care?
In: Did God Care?
In: Did God Care?
In: Did God Care?
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In: Did God Care?