Monday, March 06, 2023

Stoic praise

As this prayer shows, Epictetus’s pious expressions are not simply mythological language intended to express intellectual truths. For Epictetus God means something that calls forth song, praise, prayer, and devotion. God is not simply identified with a correct set of reasoned judgments about the world. There is an irreducible flavor to Epictetus’s speech that cannot be eliminated by achieving conceptual clarity. Indeed, conceptual clarity about his addresses to God requires us to assume that Epictetus was serious. To study in Nicopolis was to learn that the word God means someone you can talk to.—One True Life: The Stoics and Early Christians as Rival Traditions, 46 (emphasis original)

<idle musing>
Interesting, isn't it? I had always thought of Stoics as having a far-off god. This puts a different light on things, though. Wonder where this is going…
</idle musing>

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