Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Nonviolent Life

The following is a review of John Dear's book, The Nonviolent Life, by ESR student Christie Walkuski. Dear is the keynote speaker for ESR's 2014 Ministry of Writing Colloquium on October 31-November 1.  You can learn more about that event and register online hereAs we lead up to the Colloquium, you are invited to join the ESR community in reading The Nonviolent Life during the coming month.



“The time has come to unlearn the ways of violence,” says long-time peace and nonviolent activist, John Dear, in the introduction to his latest book, The Nonviolent Life. Dear insists that part of this un-learning is practicing three dimensions of nonviolence: nonviolence towards ourselves, nonviolence in our interpersonal relationships, and nonviolence out in the world, by joining, in whatever way we can, the global movement for peace and justice. 
I am struck by Dear’s inclusion of practicing nonviolence toward self, which may sound like a lovely, uplifting and affirming exercise, but in practice is really huge spiritual work--the work of healing our own woundedness--through constant prayer, meditation and self-examination.  Tending to our own inner healing, Dear says, and learning how to be nonviolent toward ourselves and others, is the work of a lifetime, and what the spiritual life is all about. Amen to that. This spiritual work is not one that this reader hears many people in activist or faith circles talking about.  As a seminary student, I don’t hear much about this piece of the spiritual life among my peers and professors, and in my public theology class for which I wrote this review, we have talked more about the idea of engaging faith in the public sphere, a way to assert Christian or moral values into political discourse, rather than a way of being the change we wish to see in the world. 
It makes simple sense: how do we serve as agents of peace if we are practicing violence in our own hearts? We can say we are for nonviolent peace-making and social justice, but unless we practice nonviolence personally, unless we commit to the work of our own conversion, how are we to understand, for example, and foster, the principles of non-retaliation, reconciliation, or Christ’s call to not be angry (Matt. 5: 21-22).  The book challenges readers to be fully invested in the nonviolent life and serves as a kind of guidebook to “being the change”.
Being the change we wish to see in the world is not some catchy slogan to merely think about as an alternative approach, nor a way to absolve ourselves of the need to engage in the world and focus only on ourselves, but a necessary ingredient, a requirement.  Nonviolence starts in my own heart.  If we are not practicing all three dimensions of nonviolence, Dear says, we are not living a nonviolent life. 
How do we “be the change”? This is what Dear lays out for us, and it’s not for the weak in spirit.  It takes daily prayer, meditation, and self-examination. It takes self-awareness.  It takes a commitment to heal our own woundedness.  It takes not only a willingness to change, but change itself.  “Question yourself!”, Dear seems to be saying, “not only authority!”  This spiritual work, when overlooked or avoided, produces angry activists that cannot sustain their work for change, people who burn out and become bitter, people who harbor resentments and self-hatred.  They, in the end, may offer more harm and violence to the world.
Then there are those who only focus on their own healing. They think this is enough. Dear quotes King: “An individual has not started living until he (or she) can rise above the narrow confines of his (or her) individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”   If we do not broaden our concerns, we are not reaching our true potential as sons and daughters of God, Dear writes.  “We need to help God,” he asserts, in disarming and transforming the world. 
What a beautiful idea.  However, while this is certainly compelling to me, I’m sure there are some who are perfectly content to ignore the violence in the world! And they find ways to justify their arguments for a faith that keeps them only tending to their own wounds.  They think they cannot do anything about the world. They give in to hopelessness, the kind which is not about spiritual surrendering and self-emptying, but that is spiritually irresponsible and self-protecting (that’s self with a capital S).  They never join movements for change.  They never take a stand against injustice. In the end, they only go so far in their own healing which makes them unable to bring much healing into the world.  They too, I believe, might offer more harm and violence than good to the world.
At first while reading this book I had the thought, ‘is John Dear living in reality?‘  The message seemed too simple.  As I read on, it hit me.  Oh. This is calling me to actually changeThe seeming simplicity in message--for example, suggestions to not get angry, or to win difficult others over with loving kindness--highlights just how counter-cultural Dear’s message is.  It seems simplistic and fantastical because it is a message so opposed to the violence we live with every day and that is so ingrained in our culture.  “Maybe we should take Jesus on his word,” Dear says as a reply to those who would raise similar questions.
Everyone engaged in activism and in self-healing work should read this book.  Each chapter includes queries for further personal reflection and small group discussion, encouraging both contemplation and action in our daily lives, in the world. If we want to, as Dear says, radiate personally the peace we seek politically, this book should become our companion and workbook, referred to often.



Christie Walkuski is a residential student in Earlham School of Religion’s Master of Divinity program. You can read more from Christie on her blog, http://christiewalkuski.wordpress.com/.

Pin It

Friday, September 26, 2014

Philosophical Roots of Ancient Christian Practice and its Current Potential for Well-being

Tim Seid, Associate Dean & Assistant Professor of New Testament Studies, Earlham School of Religion. Programmed worship, Sept. 25, 2014.





Early in my academic career I became excited by how the texts of early Christianity made more sense to me by interpreting them within the context of Greco-Roman language, rhetoric, and philosophy. Although I had considered doing an undergraduate or post-graduate degree in classical studies, I was always pulled back to focusing on early Christian studies and on how one is to live a Christian life. Whether it was the “New Testament Christianity” of my early years among evangelicals or the “primitive Christianity revived” of my later years among Quakers, I’ve always been interested in basing my faith in the experience and thought of those who wrote the texts of early Christianity.

I spend most of my time in administrative work at ESR, largely through the use of technology, but my passion has always been the study of the Bible and interpreting its texts. Most recently I’ve been challenged to look for ways that the outcome of my academic research might have practical benefit. To get to that point, I need to trace three concurrent developments that I am trying to bring together.1 As far as I know, no one else is working at this in quite the way I’m attempting to do it – which may mean I’m either really insightful or really ignorant.

First Development: Ancient Greek philosophy as the Art of Living

I’ve talked some about this first development in the study of ancient Greek philosophy under the category of psychagogy, the leading of the soul.2 It’s also characterized as philosophy being the “art of living,” or as the therapy of the soul. I want to just highlight those who are notable and helpful in this development.

For most people, the idea of being a philosopher is to be an academic in a philosophy department, to do research and writing in some area of philosophy, and to teach courses on topics like epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics. In recent years it has become more common for some philosophers to point out that we have been missing the crucial aspect of ancient philosophy. Philosophy was not just about thinking intellectually but becoming a better human being and living a morally responsible and personally fulfilling life. A training regimen of mental exercises strengthens the person who is committed to living the philosophical life, enabling the person to make progress toward the goal of completeness. The more mature philosopher becomes an example for others and acts as a guide in their development. It is important to understand some of the ways that this movement has developed. 3

More than anyone else, Pierre Hadot (1922-2010) has popularized the notion during the past half century that ancient Greek philosophy is best characterized as a “way of life.”4 Hadot describes how the Stoics considered philosophy to be an art of living rather than a development of theories or interpretation of texts. Students of philosophy were to make a conscious decision to change the course of life and progress toward becoming a more complete and fulfilled human. Yet they are hindered from making progress because of ineluctable desires and irrational fears. For these passions philosophy devised methods of therapy designed to bring about transformation. For the Stoics, the problems people face have to do with their dependence on things outside of their control. They must learn how to think about and respond to their desires and the circumstances of life if they want to achieve the goal of a virtuous, tranquil, free and happy life. It takes a reversal in how one looks at the world. Hadot sums up his brief description: “Such a transformation of vision is not easy, and it is precisely here that spiritual exercises come in. Little by little, they make possible the indispensable metamorphosis of our inner Self.”5

To begin with, the practice of attending to the present moment is foundational in Stoicism. Practicing exercises allows you to be prepared for whatever might happen. But you must be attentive to what you experience and be ready to respond rationally and appropriately to any event. Dwelling on the past failures and losses brings sorrow and grief; being overly-concerned about what might happen in the future can cause worry and fear. Finally, being in the present means having a vision for your own place in the cosmos and accepting the providential course of your own life.6

To be prepared for constantly practicing attention, we need to prepare ahead of time with a routine of meditation focused on how to think about circumstances we might encounter. These might include such things as meditating on experiences of poverty, suffering, or death. Memorization then provides us with rational forms of self-dialogue, precepts, maxims, and sayings. Daily meditation could include time in the morning for anticipating the day and in the evening for examining faults and progress.7

The intellectual exercises—reading, listening, research, and investigation—are described as nourishment, a way for you to give yourself food for thought, so to speak. Philosophers would be familiar with the writings of those within their own tradition as well as those of others. Listening and being in dialogue with others would help create new ways to form arguments when faced with adversity.8

The final category is the practical exercises designed to instill habitual action. We need to practice recognizing what things neither contribute to our virtue or cause us vice, what Stoics called “indifferent.” Self-mastery would involve learning to act with virtue but avoid vice. Fulfilling duties is the practice of proper behavior.9

Ilsetraut Hadot, who happened to be married to Pierre, and had similar scholarly pursuits, wrote a summary of her understanding in a book section “The Spiritual Guide.”10 She also points out that philosophy was not just a theoretical practice, but “philosophy was, above all, an education toward a happy life—happy life here and not only in some hypothetical life after death, even if the latter was not always left entirely out of consideration.”11 This became true of the succeeding schools as well.

All Hellenistic and Imperial schools of philosophy, including the Cynics and Skeptics, regarded guidance toward a happy life as the most important goal of their philosophy. What was understood by happy life could vary considerably in theory, but in all cases it had the practical end of strengthening the individual inwardly against all the vicissitudes of fate and, as far as possible, of making the person self-sufficient. Ancient philosophy was, above all, help with life’s problems and spiritual guidance, and the ancient philosopher was, above all, a spiritual guide.12

The theoretical aspects of philosophy were secondary and were the foundation for the primary goal of moral progress and living a happy life. This required friendly relationships with philosophical guides and with other students. It was even considered necessarily for moral progress to have help of a friend who reflects back to us our true nature. A friend who has made more progress is able to give assistance to the younger or less mature person. Spiritual guides establish their authority by the quality of the lives they live rather than their intellectual prowess or rhetorical abilities. Students as well needed to provide evidence in their lives of making progress in order to participate as students and in philosophical friendship.13

One of the most popular proponents of philosophy as the art of living is Martha Nussbaum. In her 1994 book, The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics, she begins with the claim that all of the Hellenistic philosophical schools thought of the philosopher “as a compassionate physician whose arts could heal many pervasive types of human suffering.”14 All of the Hellenistic philosophical schools agreed that philosophy was about the “art of human life,” that the goal was human flourishing (eudaimonia), and that philosophical therapy could alleviate human suffering.15

More recently, John Sellars published his dissertation under the title The Art of Living: The Stoics on the Nature and Function of Philosophy.16 He takes up the discussion of the philosophical exercises as a follow up to the intellectual and rational study by the student.

Sellars identifies two aspects or functions of the philosophical exercises: habituation and digestion. He summarizes it this way: “In both cases we might say that the function of a spiritual exercise is to accustom or to habituate (ethizō) the soul according to philosophical doctrines or principles (logoi), to absorb philosophical ideas into one's character (ēthos) which, in turn, will determine one's habitual behaviour.”17 A second function is the metaphor of digestion. Epictetus, for example, draws the comparison to sheep. They do not show their shepherds how much they have eaten. Instead, they digest their food and then produce the results, which in their case is wool and milk. Epictetus applies the illustration, “And so do you, therefore, make no display to the laymen of your philosophical principles (ta theōrēmata), but let them see the results (erga) which come from the principles when digested” (Enchiridion 46).18 Seneca instructs Lucilius to take time to think about the authors and books he reads. He must allow time to digest what they say. To read something and then talk about it is like eating a meal and then vomiting it. Instead, he should, “Each day [ ... ] after you have run over many thoughts, select one to be thoroughly digested that day” (Epist. 2.4).19

These are just some of the scholars I’ve found to be most helpful. Many others could also be named.20

Second Development: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity

The second development is in the school of New Testament research that I sometimes call the “Yale School” but it may come to be called philosophical exegesis.21 The current movement interested in locating early Christianity within a Greco-Roman context is not the same as that of past generations. This one focuses on Greco-Roman literature, rhetoric, and philosophy within its social context. This is not to be confused with the earlier movement interested in Greco-Roman mystery religions or the anti-Semitic attempt to portray Nazi Germany as the embodiment of Greek ideals and the successor to the Roman empire.22

Over the past twenty years there have been numerous collections of articles focused on research in early Christianity that demonstrate how crucial it is for us to understand it in the context of Greco-Roman culture: its literature, rhetoric, mythology, and philosophy. They have titles like Greeks, Romans, and Christians,23 Paul in His Hellenistic Context, 24 Friendship, Flattery and Frankness of Speech: Studies on Friendship in the New Testament World, 25 Paul Beyond the Judaism-Hellenism Divide,26 Paul in the Greco-Roman World: A Handbook,27 Early Christianity and Classical Culture,28 Philodemus and the New Testament World,29 and Passions and Moral Progress in Greco-Roman Thought.30 Many of the scholars can be traced back to having been students of Abraham Malherbe at Yale. Many of these scholars participate in the Hellenistic Moral Philosophy and Early Christianity Group of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL).

There are many scholars working in this field of study, far too many to review here.31 Their research brings to light the many ways in which Jews and Christians in the Second Temple period since the Hellenization of the Near East by Alexander the Great and his successors have been influenced in their thinking about the world and the quality of the lives they lead in it. Early Christians were mainly Hellenistic Jews, who were attracted to Greek philosophy in order to fulfill Torah, and pagan God-fearers who found in Judaism a way to live the philosophical life. Their form of writing and the technical terminology points to education in Greek rhetoric and philosophy: the form of letter writing; the Cynic-Stoic diatribe in Romans and elsewhere; virtue and vice lists; household tables; the lists of toils of the philosopher; the language of self-control, self-sufficiency, and tranquility; the imitation of the philosophical guide; the language of the present tense in contexts of the development and progress of the soul; the use of frank criticism; the objections of being considered a flatterer rather than a friend and of being a charlatan and parasite who uses words for profit. When you look for the language and consider the rhetorical forms, it becomes evident. Christianity was not Hellenized by the second century church but was thoroughly Hellenized in its inception. What is most important to me is the way to understand how philosophical practice is described in the letters of Paul as leading to Christ-likeness, a blessed and complete life, and even immortality.

As I have been teaching classes in Romans, Philippians, James, and Hebrews as well as the course “Jesus as Sage,” I have been translating these early Christian texts into language that reveals the philosophical context. I make these available through my website Soul Share (soulshare.org). This is not just an academic exercise but an attempt to show how Paul was teaching his household groups to live exemplary lives within a community of friendship to ultimately achieve the goal of participation in the divine life.

Third Development: Contemporary Movements in Practical Philosophy

The third development involves several different contemporary movements aiming to help people to reach fulfillment and well-being through philosophical practice. What many people might not realize is that until the late nineteenth century, psychology was a branch of philosophy. A history of psychology begins with the history of Greek philosophy. Methods of psychological counseling common today have their roots in philosophy, specifically in Roman Stoicism. In the last decade a growing movement of philosophers has developed methods of philosophical counseling. In Europe and North America groups have been developing guidelines for people to get together and discuss philosophy and how it relates to life’s challenges and the values that are most important. Psychological researchers have joined together to develop a new branch of psychology that focuses on the age-old philosophical question of how to live a flourishing life. Philosophers and psychotherapists are working together to cross the boundaries of disciplines and learn from each other. Neuroscience is discovering how the brain might be altered to change behaviors and emotions through habitual practice. These are indications that people around the world are realizing that practical philosophy has a role in transforming lives, empowering groups, and shaping society.

You might not know that Cognitive Behavior Therapy has its roots in Stoic practice, as Donald Robertson makes clear in his book The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT): Stoic Philosophy as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy.32 He has a more recent book, Stoicism and the Art of Happiness33in which he develops his way of combining psychology and philosophical exercises. Along this line is the work of Jules Evans. He has written a book titled, Philosophy for Life: And Other Dangerous Situations: Ancient Philosophy for Modern Problems.34 As the policy director at the Centre for the History of Emotions at Queen Mary, University of London, he has been organizing and developing philosophy clubs. He helps to run the London-based club, which has over 3,000 members.

An outgrowth of this movement has been several projects at the University of Exeter in the UK. In October, 2012, the University of Exeter held a workshop on “exploring applications of Stoic philosophy for the modern day” including experts in ancient philosophy and in psychology and psychotherapy.35 From this dialogue came an idea for “Stoic Week,” sometimes written as “Live Like a Stoic” week, which ran from November 26 – December 3, 2012.

Another Stoic Week took place in 2013 with 2,400 participants. The report on the outcomes through psychological testing is quite positive.36 The third annual Stoic Week takes place Nov. 24-30, 2014.37 The blog post reports, “This is … the biggest global event on Stoic philosophy in 2014. It brings together leading experts on Stoicism and its modern relevance.”38

There is a handbook that guides participants in learning about Stoicism and about how to put its teachings into practice through daily activities and meditations.39 Each day has a pattern of thoughtful meditation. They suggest, “When you wake up each morning, take a few moments to compose yourself and then patiently rehearse the day ahead, planning how you can make yourself a better person, while also accepting that some things lie beyond your control.”40 During the day you are encouraged to practice Stoic mindfulness, a paying attention to the moment, “a gentle yet consistent monitoring of yourself throughout the day, which asks: ‘am I concerned here with something which is in my control or not in my control?’”41 At the end of the day, it was a philosophical practice to contemplate one’s progress throughout the day.

There are many other movements. Let me just mention the Positive Psychology movement of Martin Seligman et al42 and the highly relevant work in neuroscience on neural plasticity, the way that these practices actually change the structure of the brain.43 In addition, there is significant work in philosophical counseling, such as the American Philosophical Practitioners Association co-founded by Lou Marinoff44 and the National Philosophical Counseling Association co-founded by Elliot D. Cohen.45

During my sabbatical in Spring of 2012, I developed a web site called Soul Share (soulshare.org) in order to try to combine these three streams into a practical form of Christian living reconnecting with ancient philosophical practices in order to achieve the blessed and divine life characterized in the term eudaimonia. I describe it this way:

The divine state is characterized by being unaffected by the upheaval of emotions that are responses to impulses triggered by unexpected circumstances of human existence. The openness to the course of life and to whatever happens brings about a state of tranquility. Error in this context is not a transgression of divine law but a mistake in moral judgment about what is advantageous and what is harmful to a person’s well-being and progress in development and as such error causes a person to experience retrogression rather than progression. Forms of spiritual exercises train a person to be prepared to respond with proper judgment regarding circumstances. By practice and action a person makes progress toward the goal of perfection (as a completed human, all that a person is meant to be) and of experiencing a flourishing life, a divine way of living. This is made easier by participating in a community of friends who provide encouragement, guidance from more mature members, and even critique and admonishment. As people experience development from a more self-centered immature state to becoming a mature human, they come to understand that the world is a unity and they have an affinity with all people, which compels them to become more altruistic .46

I’ve tried to combine the elements from the ancient philosophical practices with what I understand to have been happening in the communities of Paul into a social community website with these six alliterated elements:

EDUCATION

Learning how to think about the world, your place in it, and what it is you want to become.

EXPERIENCE

Developing a world-wide community of friendship with people who also are serious about making progress toward experiencing a flourishing life.

EXCHANGE

Encouraging each other, discussing important issues related to living a philosophical life, sharing experiences, learning from each other, becoming people who can guide the souls of others to maturity.

EXERCISE

Contemplating on a collection of wisdom from a variety of ancient sources (Paul of Tarsus, Jesus of Nazareth, Epictetus, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, etc.) who provide instructions on philosophical exercises and moral advice on how to live strong, independent, and meaningful lives.

ENGAGEMENT

Engaging in life and staying in contact with the Soul Share community.

EXAMINATION

Periodically assessing your progress including your mental life, your relationship with others and the world, coping with circumstances of life, your self-sufficiency, self-control, tranquility, and the level of happiness/flourishing you are experiencing in life.

Although I spend a great deal of time researching and writing about this topic, I have not had the kind of response I’d hoped for. For one, this is very complicated to explain. It requires a change in the way people think about early Christianity and about the focus of Christian practice. Secondly, many people are bound to find this doesn’t fit with their own personality and way of thinking. Some question whether this is a mainly masculine way of looking at the world. Thirdly, I’m not a very good self-promoter. It was tough just to make my ideas public on the soulshare.org website.

I have found these ideas helpful to me. It has helped me these past several years after bariatric surgery to watch my diet and exercise. It has helped my wife and I to deal with the symptoms of her MS and what it is doing to her. The night before my mother-in-law’s funeral, I read a section of William Irvine’s semi-devotional book on the Stoic view of death. I hope I can find ways that this academic research can have practical value and a powerful impact on the way followers of Jesus live out the Christian life.

Endnotes

1 The focus of my 2012 Spring sabbatical was on research and writing (Trans)Formation in Early Christian Communities: Reconnecting with Ancient Philosophical Practices. I have excerpted portions of that work here in a more concise form. Part of that work was also creating a social media site (soulshare.org) as an experiment in how to put theory into action.



2 Timothy W. Seid, "Psychagogy in Paul: What Is It, How Does It Help Us Understand Paul, and Why Does It Matter?," Earlham School of Religion, http://esr.earlham.edu/~seidti/psychagogy.pdf.



3 One of the earliest scholars to discuss the "leading of the soul" and to use the term psychagogy is Paul Rabbow, Seelenführung: Methodik der Exerzitien in der Antike (München: Kösel-Verlag, 1954).



4 Pierre Hadot was Professor Emeritus of the History of Hellenistic and Roman Thought at the Collège de France.



5 Pierre Hadot, Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault, trans. Arnold I. Davidson (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 1995), 83.



6 Ibid., 84-85.



7 Ibid., 85.



8 Ibid., 86.



9 Ibid.



10 Ilsetraut Hadot, "The Spiritual Guide," in Classical Mediterranean Spirituality: Egyptian, Greek, Roman, ed. A. H. Armstrong, World Spirituality (New York: Crossroad, 1986), 436-59.



11 Ibid., 444.



12 Ibid.



13 Ibid., 444-50.



14 Martha Nussbaum, The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), 3.



15 Ibid., 15.



16 John Sellars, The Art of Living: The Stoics on the Nature and Function of Philosophy, Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Philosophy (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003).



17 Ibid., 120.



18 Ibid., 121.



19 Ibid., 122.



20 Julia Annas, The Morality of Happiness (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993); Tad Brennan, The Stoic Life : Emotions, Duties, and Fate (Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 2005); Elen Buzaré, Stoic Spiritual Exercises (Raleigh, N.C.: Lulu, 2011); John M. Cooper, Pursuits of Wisdom : Six Ways of Life in Ancient Philosophy from Socrates to Plotinus (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2012); Michel Foucault, The Care of the Self, 1st Vintage Books ed., The History of Sexuality ;; Vol. 3; (New York: Vintage Books, 1988); Christopher Gill, "Ancient Psychotherapy," Journal of the History of Ideas 46, no. 3 (1985); Pierre Hadot, The Inner Citadel : The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, 1st Harvard University Press paperback ed. (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001); What Is Ancient Philosophy? (Cambridge, Mass.: London, 2004); Brad Inwood, Ethics and Human Action in Early Stoicism (Oxford Oxfordshire Clarendon Press: New York, 1985); "Goal and Target in Stoicism," The Journal of Philosophy 83, no. 10, Eighty-Third Annual Meeting American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division (1986); William Braxton Irvine, On Desire : Why We Want What We Want (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2006); A Guide to the Good Life : The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2009); Luke Timothy Johnson, Practical Philosophy: The Greco-Roman Moralists, Greco Roman Moralists (Chantilly, Va.: Teaching Co., 2002), Sound Recording, 12 sound discs (ca. 720 min.); Jean Leclercq, "Exercices Spirituels; Antiquité Et Haut Moyen Âge," in Dictionnaire de spiritualité (Paris: Beauchesne, 1960); A. A. Long, Epictetus : A Stoic and Socratic Guide to Life (Oxford Clarendon Press: New York, 2004); Michael McGhee, Transformations of Mind: Philosophy as Spiritual Practice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000); Alexander Nehamas, The Art of Living : Socratic Reflections from Plato to Foucault, Sather Classical Lectures (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998); R. J. Newman, "Cotidie Meditare: Theory and Practice of the Meditatio in Imperial Stoicism," in Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt (Berlin/New York: Walter De Gruyter, 1989); Richard Sorabji, Emotion and Peace of Mind : From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation, The Gifford Lectures; (Oxford England: New York, 2002).



21 This is the term used by Troels Engberg-Pedersen, Cosmology and Self in the Apostle Paul: The Material Spirit (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 2ff.



22 For a survey of historical developments related to interpreting early Christianity within a Greco-Roman context, see Dale B. Martin, "Paul and the Judaism/Hellenism Dichotomy: Toward a Social History of the Question," in Paul Beyond the Judaism/Hellenism Divide, ed. Troels Engberg-Pedersen (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001).



23 David L. Balch, Everett Ferguson, and Wayne A. Meeks, eds., Greeks, Romans, and Christians : Essays in Honor of Abraham J. Malherbe (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990).



24 Troels Engberg-Pedersen, ed. Paul in His Hellenistic Context (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995).



25 John T. Fitzgerald, ed. Friendship, Flattery, and Frankness of Speech: Studies on Friendship in the New Testament World, vol. 82, Supplements to Novum Testamentum (Leiden: Brill, 1996).



26 Troels Engberg-Pedersen, ed. Paul Beyond the Judaism/Hellenism Divide, 1st ed. (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001).



27 J. Paul Sampley, ed. Paul in the Greco-Roman World: A Handbook (Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 2003).



28 John T. Fitzgerald, Thomas H. Olbricht, and L. Michael White, eds., Early Christianity and Classical Culture: Comparative Studies in Honor of Abraham J. Malherbe, vol. 110, Supplements to Novum Testamentum (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2003).



29 John T. Fitzgerald, Dirk Obbink, and Glenn Stanfield Holland, eds., Philodemus and the New Testament World, vol. 111ibid. (2004).



30 John T. Fitzgerald, ed. Passions and Moral Progress in Greco-Roman Thought, Routledge Monographs in Classical Studies (London; New York: Routledge, 2008).



31 Loveday Alexander, "'Foolishness to the Greeks': Jews and Christians in the Public Life of the Empire," in Philosophy and Power in the Graeco-Roman World: Essays in Honour of Miriam Griffin, ed. Miriam T. Griffin, Gillian Clark, and Tessa Rajak (Oxford - New York: Oxford University Press, 2002); Ward Blanton et al., The Letter to the Romans vol. 1, Brill's Ancient Philosophical Commentary on the Pauline Writings (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2014/2015); Marcia L. Colish, "Pauline Theology and Stoic Philosophy: An Historical Study," Journal of the American Academy of Religion 47, no. 1 (1979); David A. DeSilva, "Paul and the Stoa : A Comparison," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 38, no. 4 (1995); Troels Engberg-Pedersen, Paul and the Stoics (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 2000); Cosmology and Self in the Apostle Paul: The Material Spirit; John T. Fitzgerald, Cracks in an Earthen Vessel : An Examination of the Catalogues of Hardships in the Corinthian Correspondence, vol. 99, Dissertation Series (Society of Biblical Literature) (Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars Press, 1988); Clarence E. Glad, Paul and Philodemus: Adaptability in Epicurean and Early Christian Psychagogy, vol. 81, Supplements to Novum Testamentum (Leiden; New York; Köln: Brill, 1995); Ronald E. Hock, ""By the Gods, It's My One Desire to See an Actual Stoic" : Epictetus' Relations with Students and Visitors in His Personal Network," Semeia no 56(1991); Ronald F. Hock, "Paul's Tentmaking and the Problem of His Social Class," Journal of Biblical Literature 97, no. 4 (1978); M. David Litwa, We Are Being Transformed: Deification in Paul's Soteriology, Beihefte Zur Zeitschrift Für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde der Älteren Kirche,; Bd. 187 (Berlin ; Boston : De Gruyter, 2012), Internet Resource; Computer File; Iesus Deus: The Early Christian Depiction of Jesus as a Mediterranean God (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014); Abraham J. Malherbe, "Medical Imagery in the Pastoral Epistles," in Texts and Testaments: Critical Essays on the Bible and Early Church Fathers, ed. W. Eugene March and Stuart Dickson Currie (San Antonio: Trinity University Press, 1980); Moral Exhortation: A Greco-Roman Sourcebook, ed. Wayne A. Meeks, vol. 4, Library of Early Christianity (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1986); Paul and the Thessalonians: The Philosophic Tradition of Pastoral Care (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987); Paul and the Popular Philosophers (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1989); "Hellenistic Moralists and the New Testament," in Aufstieg und Niedergang der Römischen Welt: Geschichte und Kultur Roms Im Spiegel der Neueren Forschung, ed. Wolfgang Haase and Hildegard Temporini (Berlin/New York: de Gruyter, 1992); "Paul's Self-Sufficiency (Philippians 4:11)," in Friendship, Flattery, and Frankness of Speech (Leiden: Brill, 1996); Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity, vol. 150, Novum Testamentum, Supplements (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2013); Wayne A. Meeks, The Origins of Christian Morality : The First Two Centuries (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993); Stanley K. Stowers, "Social Status, Public Speaking and Private Teaching : The Circumstances of Paul's Preaching Activity," Novum testamentum 26(1984); "Paul on the Use and Abuse of Reason," in Greeks, Romans, and Christians : Essays in Honor of Abraham J. Malherbe, ed. David L. Balch, Everett Ferguson, and Wayne A. Meeks (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990); Stanley Kent Stowers, A Rereading of Romans : Justice, Jews, and Gentiles (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994); Stanley K. Stowers, "Does Pauline Christianity Resemble a Hellenistic Philosophy?," in Paul Beyond the Judaism/Hellenism Divide, ed. Troels Engberg-Pedersen (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001); "Paul and Self-Mastery," in Paul in the Greco-Roman World : A Handbook, ed. J. Paul Sampley (Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 2003); Runar M. Thorsteinsson, Roman Christianity and Roman Stoicism : A Comparative Study of Ancient Morality (Oxford; New York Oxford University Press, 2010); Emma Wasserman, "Paul among the Philosophers: The Case of Sin in Romans 6-8," Journal for the Study of the New Testament 30, no. 4 (2008).



32 Donald Robertson, The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT): Stoic Philosophy as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy (London: Karnac, 2010).



33 Stoicism and the Art of Happiness (London: Teach Yourself, 2013).



34 Jules Evans, Philosophy for Life: And Other Dangerous Situations (London: Rider, 2012).



35 Exeter, "About ‘Stoicism Today’ | Stoicism Today," http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/stoicismtoday/sample-page/.



36 Tim LeBon, "Report on Exeter University “Stoic Week” 2013 by Tim Lebon," University of Exeter, http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/stoicismtoday/files/2014/02/Stoic-Week-Report-2013-Final.pdf.



37 Patrick Ussher, "Stoic Week 2014 & Stoicism Today Event in London," http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/stoicismtoday/2014/09/05/stoic-week-2014-stoicism-today-event-in-london/.



38 Ibid.



39 Patrick Ussher Christopher Gill, John Sellars, Tim Lebon, Jules Evans, Gill Garratt, Donald Robertson, "The Stoic Week 2013 Handbook," http://modernstoicism.com/mod/page/view.php?id=13.



40 Ibid.



41 Ibid.



42 Jonathan Haidt, The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom (New York: Basic Books, 2006); Martin E. P. Seligman, Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment (New York: Free Press, 2002); Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being (New York: Free Press, 2011).



43 Sharon Begley, Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves (New York: Ballantine Books, 2007); The Plastic Mind: New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves (London: Constable, 2009); Richard J. Davidson and Sharon Begley, The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live--and How You Can Change Them (New York: Hudson Street Press, 2012); Jeffrey Schwartz and Sharon Begley, The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force (New York: Regan Books/HarperCollins Publ., 2002).



44 Lou Marinoff, Plato, Not Prozac!: Applying Philosophy to Everyday Problems (New York: HarperCollins, 1999). In the reprint edition of 2000 the subtitle is changed to “Applying Eternal Wisdom to Everyday Problems.”



45 Elliot D. Cohen, What Would Aristotle Do?: Self-Control through the Power of Reason (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2003), 17.



46 Timothy W. Seid, "Rationale for Soul Share," http://soulshare.org/rationale.



Bibliography

Alexander, Loveday. "'Foolishness to the Greeks': Jews and Christians in the Public Life of the Empire." In Philosophy and Power in the Graeco-Roman World: Essays in Honour of Miriam Griffin, edited by Miriam T. Griffin, Gillian Clark and Tessa Rajak, 229-50. Oxford - New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Annas, Julia. The Morality of Happiness. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Balch, David L., Everett Ferguson, and Wayne A. Meeks, eds. Greeks, Romans, and Christians : Essays in Honor of Abraham J. Malherbe. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990.

Begley, Sharon. The Plastic Mind: New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves. London: Constable, 2009.

———. Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves. New York: Ballantine Books, 2007.

Blanton, Ward, Niko Huttunen, Runar M. Thorsteinsson, Birgit van der Lans, and George van Kooten. The Letter to the Romans Brill's Ancient Philosophical Commentary on the Pauline Writings. Vol. 1, Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2014/2015.

Brennan, Tad. The Stoic Life : Emotions, Duties, and Fate. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Buzaré, Elen. Stoic Spiritual Exercises [in English]. Raleigh, N.C.: Lulu, 2011.

Christopher Gill, Patrick Ussher, John Sellars, Tim Lebon, Jules Evans, Gill Garratt, Donald Robertson. "The Stoic Week 2013 Handbook." http://modernstoicism.com/mod/page/view.php?id=13.

Cohen, Elliot D. What Would Aristotle Do?: Self-Control through the Power of Reason. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2003.

Colish, Marcia L. "Pauline Theology and Stoic Philosophy: An Historical Study." Journal of the American Academy of Religion 47, no. 1 (1979): 129-318.

Cooper, John M. Pursuits of Wisdom : Six Ways of Life in Ancient Philosophy from Socrates to Plotinus [in English]. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2012.

Davidson, Richard J., and Sharon Begley. The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live--and How You Can Change Them. New York: Hudson Street Press, 2012.

DeSilva, David A. "Paul and the Stoa : A Comparison." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 38, no. 4 (December 1995): 549-64.

Engberg-Pedersen, Troels. Cosmology and Self in the Apostle Paul: The Material Spirit. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

———. Paul and the Stoics. Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 2000.

———, ed. Paul Beyond the Judaism/Hellenism Divide. 1st ed. Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001.

———, ed. Paul in His Hellenistic Context. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995.

Evans, Jules. Philosophy for Life: And Other Dangerous Situations. London: Rider, 2012.

Exeter. "About ‘Stoicism Today’ | Stoicism Today." http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/stoicismtoday/sample-page/.

Fitzgerald, John T. Cracks in an Earthen Vessel : An Examination of the Catalogues of Hardships in the Corinthian Correspondence. Dissertation Series (Society of Biblical Literature). Vol. 99, Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars Press, 1988.

———, ed. Friendship, Flattery, and Frankness of Speech: Studies on Friendship in the New Testament World. Vol. 82, Supplements to Novum Testamentum. Leiden: Brill, 1996.

———, ed. Passions and Moral Progress in Greco-Roman Thought, Routledge Monographs in Classical Studies. London; New York: Routledge, 2008.

Fitzgerald, John T., Dirk Obbink, and Glenn Stanfield Holland, eds. Philodemus and the New Testament World. Vol. 111, Supplements to Novum Testamentum. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2004.

Fitzgerald, John T., Thomas H. Olbricht, and L. Michael White, eds. Early Christianity and Classical Culture: Comparative Studies in Honor of Abraham J. Malherbe. Vol. 110, Supplements to Novum Testamentum. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2003.

Foucault, Michel. The Care of the Self. The History of Sexuality ;; Vol. 3;. 1st Vintage Books ed. New York: Vintage Books, 1988.

Gill, Christopher. "Ancient Psychotherapy." Journal of the History of Ideas 46, no. 3 (1985): 307-25.

Glad, Clarence E. Paul and Philodemus: Adaptability in Epicurean and Early Christian Psychagogy. Supplements to Novum Testamentum. Vol. 81, Leiden; New York; Köln: Brill, 1995.

Hadot, Ilsetraut. "The Spiritual Guide." Translated by Margaret Kirby. In Classical Mediterranean Spirituality: Egyptian, Greek, Roman, edited by A. H. Armstrong. World Spirituality, 436-59. New York: Crossroad, 1986.

Hadot, Pierre. The Inner Citadel : The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. 1st Harvard University Press paperback ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001.

———. Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault. Translated by Arnold I. Davidson. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 1995.

———. What Is Ancient Philosophy? Cambridge, Mass.: London, 2004.

Haidt, Jonathan. The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom. New York: Basic Books, 2006.

Hock, Ronald E. ""By the Gods, It's My One Desire to See an Actual Stoic" : Epictetus' Relations with Students and Visitors in His Personal Network." Semeia no 56 (1991): 121-42.

Hock, Ronald F. "Paul's Tentmaking and the Problem of His Social Class." Journal of Biblical Literature 97, no. 4 (1978): 555-64.

Inwood, Brad. Ethics and Human Action in Early Stoicism. Oxford Oxfordshire Clarendon Press: New York, 1985.

———. "Goal and Target in Stoicism." The Journal of Philosophy 83, no. 10, Eighty-Third Annual Meeting American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division (Oct. 1986): 547-56.

Irvine, William Braxton. A Guide to the Good Life : The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

———. On Desire : Why We Want What We Want. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Johnson, Luke Timothy. Practical Philosophy: The Greco-Roman Moralists, Greco Roman Moralists. Chantilly, Va.: Teaching Co., 2002. Sound Recording, 12 sound discs (ca. 720 min.).

LeBon, Tim. "Report on Exeter University “Stoic Week” 2013 by Tim Lebon." University of Exeter, http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/stoicismtoday/files/2014/02/Stoic-Week-Report-2013-Final.pdf.

Leclercq, Jean. "Exercices Spirituels; Antiquité Et Haut Moyen Âge." In Dictionnaire de spiritualité, cols. 1903-08. Paris: Beauchesne, 1960.

Litwa, M. David. Iesus Deus: The Early Christian Depiction of Jesus as a Mediterranean God [in English]. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014.

———. We Are Being Transformed: Deification in Paul's Soteriology [in English]. Beihefte Zur Zeitschrift Für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde der Älteren Kirche,; Bd. 187. Berlin ; Boston : De Gruyter, 2012. Internet Resource; Computer File. What is a god?: defining divinity in the Greco-Roman world -- Survey of deification: assimilation to specific deities -- The roots of a Jewish vision of deification -- Divine corporeality and the pneumatic body -- Divine corporeality and deification -- Deification and the cosmic rule of the saints -- Paul and moral assimilation to God -- Monotheism and divine multiplicity -- Creation and the objection of absolute transcendence.

Long, A. A. Epictetus : A Stoic and Socratic Guide to Life. Oxford Clarendon Press: New York, 2004.

Malherbe, Abraham J. "Hellenistic Moralists and the New Testament." In Aufstieg und Niedergang der Römischen Welt: Geschichte und Kultur Roms Im Spiegel der Neueren Forschung, edited by Wolfgang Haase and Hildegard Temporini, 267-333. Berlin/New York: de Gruyter, 1992.

———. Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity. Novum Testamentum, Supplements. Vol. 150, Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2013.

———. "Medical Imagery in the Pastoral Epistles." In Texts and Testaments: Critical Essays on the Bible and Early Church Fathers, edited by W. Eugene March and Stuart Dickson Currie, 19-35. San Antonio: Trinity University Press, 1980.

———. Moral Exhortation: A Greco-Roman Sourcebook. Library of Early Christianity. edited by Wayne A. Meeks. Vol. 4, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1986.

———. "Paul's Self-Sufficiency (Philippians 4:11)." In Friendship, Flattery, and Frankness of Speech, 125-39. Leiden: Brill, 1996.

———. Paul and the Popular Philosophers. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1989.

———. Paul and the Thessalonians: The Philosophic Tradition of Pastoral Care. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987.

Marinoff, Lou. Plato, Not Prozac!: Applying Philosophy to Everyday Problems. New York: HarperCollins, 1999.

Martin, Dale B. "Paul and the Judaism/Hellenism Dichotomy: Toward a Social History of the Question." Chap. 2 In Paul Beyond the Judaism/Hellenism Divide, edited by Troels Engberg-Pedersen, 29-61. Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001.

McGhee, Michael. Transformations of Mind: Philosophy as Spiritual Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Meeks, Wayne A. The Origins of Christian Morality : The First Two Centuries. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993.

Nehamas, Alexander. The Art of Living : Socratic Reflections from Plato to Foucault. Sather Classical Lectures. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.

Newman, R. J. "Cotidie Meditare: Theory and Practice of the Meditatio in Imperial Stoicism." In Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, 1473-517. Berlin/New York: Walter De Gruyter, 1989.

Nussbaum, Martha. The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994.

Rabbow, Paul. Seelenführung: Methodik der Exerzitien in der Antike. München: Kösel-Verlag, 1954.

Robertson, Donald. The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT): Stoic Philosophy as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy. London: Karnac, 2010.

———. Stoicism and the Art of Happiness [in English]. London: Teach Yourself, 2013.

Sampley, J. Paul, ed. Paul in the Greco-Roman World: A Handbook. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 2003.

Schwartz, Jeffrey, and Sharon Begley. The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force. New York: Regan Books/HarperCollins Publ., 2002.

Seid, Timothy W. "Psychagogy in Paul: What Is It, How Does It Help Us Understand Paul, and Why Does It Matter?" Earlham School of Religion, http://esr.earlham.edu/~seidti/psychagogy.pdf.

———. "Rationale for Soul Share." http://soulshare.org/rationale.

Seligman, Martin E. P. Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment. New York: Free Press, 2002.

———. Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being. New York: Free Press, 2011.

Sellars, John. The Art of Living: The Stoics on the Nature and Function of Philosophy. Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Philosophy. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003.

Sorabji, Richard. Emotion and Peace of Mind : From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation. The Gifford Lectures;. Oxford England: New York, 2002.

Stowers, Stanley K. "Does Pauline Christianity Resemble a Hellenistic Philosophy?". Chap. 4 In Paul Beyond the Judaism/Hellenism Divide, edited by Troels Engberg-Pedersen, 81-102. Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001.

———. "Paul and Self-Mastery." In Paul in the Greco-Roman World : A Handbook, edited by J. Paul Sampley, 524-50. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 2003.

———. "Paul on the Use and Abuse of Reason." In Greeks, Romans, and Christians : Essays in Honor of Abraham J. Malherbe, edited by David L. Balch, Everett Ferguson and Wayne A. Meeks. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990.

———. "Social Status, Public Speaking and Private Teaching : The Circumstances of Paul's Preaching Activity." Novum testamentum 26 (Jan 1984): 59-82.

Stowers, Stanley Kent. A Rereading of Romans : Justice, Jews, and Gentiles. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994.

Thorsteinsson, Runar M. Roman Christianity and Roman Stoicism : A Comparative Study of Ancient Morality. Oxford; New York Oxford University Press, 2010.

Ussher, Patrick. "Stoic Week 2014 & Stoicism Today Event in London." http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/stoicismtoday/2014/09/05/stoic-week-2014-stoicism-today-event-in-london/.

Wasserman, Emma. "Paul among the Philosophers: The Case of Sin in Romans 6-8." Journal for the Study of the New Testament 30, no. 4 (June 2008): 387-415.