Monday, March 06, 2023

Image of God?

[talking about God, Epictetus says] that God exists, that God has forethought, that this forethought includes both important heavenly matters and earthly and human concerns, and that such forethought is related to human beings on an individual basis. God, Epictetus might say, relates not just to us but to you and to me. After all, we are God’s children.

God has made us, fashioned us as a master craftsman, begotten us as a father would his children. “Zeus has made you”; “you are the workmanship of the Craftsman" (Disc. 2.8.19, 21, dēmiourgos). Even Caesar can only adopt a divine son, says Epictetus, taking aim at standard imperial practice for securing an heir. “But you,” he tells a student, simply “are the son of God” (Disc. 1.3.2; cf. 1.9.6).—One True Life: The Stoics and Early Christians as Rival Traditions, 47

<idle musing>
Ah, there we go. We have the demiurge popping in, so god to Epictetus isn't fully transcendent, but a step down the ladder of divine beings. That's more in line with what I've always understood Stoics to believe.
</idle musing>

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