Read e-book online Ancient Philosophy of Religion: The History of Western PDF

By Graham Oppy, N. N. Trakakis

ISBN-10: 1844656810

ISBN-13: 9781844656813

The origins of the Western philosophical culture lie within the historical Greco-Roman global. This quantity offers a special perception into the lifestyles and writings of a various workforce of philosophers in antiquity and provides the most recent pondering on their perspectives on God, the gods, non secular trust and perform. starting with the 'pre-Socratics', the quantity then explores the influential contributions made to the Western philosophy of faith by way of the 3 towering figures of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. The chapters that keep on with disguise the the top philosophers of the main colleges of the traditional international - Epicureanism, Stoicism, Neoplatonism and the early Christian Church. "Ancient Philosophy of faith" could be of curiosity to students and scholars of Philosophy, Classics and faith, whereas ultimate available to any attracted to the wealthy cultural background of historical non secular notion.

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Extra info for Ancient Philosophy of Religion: The History of Western Philosophy of Religion, Volume 1

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All of these points convergingly show the degree to which our information about Pythagoras and early Pythagoreanism relies, and in fact depends, on oral tradition. This tradition also has a legendary side, whose aim was to celebrate the much respected master of old by relating and propagating miracle stories illustrating his alleged extraordinary gifts and super-human status (Macris 2003). Pythagoras’ legend grew considerably as time passed, so the overwhelming majority of the biographical data concerning him are preserved in an undifferentiated, cumulative way by quite late and often biased sources.

Number theology brings us most naturally to another important and influential aspect of ancient Pythagorean thought, namely its scientific-mathematical conceptions and theologico-metaphysical speculations, perhaps mystical in nature, that go beyond the pantheon of civic religion or the gods of the mystery cults, and find in numbers the divine archē of the world or the first principle(s) of things (cf. Drozdek 2007: 53–70). In a famous passage from the Metaphysics, Aristotle states that the Pythagoreans identified the principles of mathematics (that is, number and its principles odd and even, limit and unlimited) with the principles of all things, and that: since … all other things in the whole of nature seemed to be modelled after numbers, and numbers seemed to be the first things in the whole of nature, they supposed the elements of numbers to be the elements of all things, and the whole heaven to be an attunement (harmonia) and a number.

Pythagoras himself was unequivocally assimilated to him in an oral saying, and perhaps also, more enigmatically, in the reported story that made him a reincarnation of Euphorbus, a hero of the Iliad with Apollonian features. Apollo was also revered in his quality of Mousagetēs, that is, patron of the Muses, and the latter, as daughters of Mnemosyne, had a place of honour within the early Pythagorean pantheon; they were not only accorded importance in memory training and recollection (initially in order to preserve the memory of one’s previous incarnations) but were also believed to preside over the arts and sciences, especially astronomy and music (Boyancé 1972).

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Ancient Philosophy of Religion: The History of Western Philosophy of Religion, Volume 1 by Graham Oppy, N. N. Trakakis


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