Roman Christianity and Roman Stoicism: A Comparative Study of Ancient Morality

Hardcover | June 27, 2010

byRunar M. Thorsteinsson

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Christianity is commonly held to have introduced an entirely new and better morality into the ancient world, a new morality that was decidedly universal, in contrast to the ethics of the philosophical schools which were only concerned with the intellectual few. Runar M. Thorsteinsson presentsa challenge to this view by comparing Christian morality in first-century Rome with contemporary Stoic ethics in the city.Thorsteinsson introduces and discusses the moral teaching of Roman Stoicism; of Seneca, Musonius Rufus, and Epictetus. He then presents the moral teaching of Roman Christianity as it is represented in Paul's Letter to the Romans, the First Letter of Peter, and the First Letter of Clement. Havingestablished the bases for his comparison, he examines the similarities and differences between Roman Stoicism and Roman Christianity in terms of morality. Five broad themes are used for the comparison, questions of Christian and Stoic views about: a particular morality or way of life as proper worship of the deity; certain individuals (like Jesus and Socrates) as paradigms for the proper way of life; the importance of mutual love and care;non-retaliation and 'love of enemies'; and the social dimension of ethics. This approach reveals a fundamental similarity between the moral teachings of Roman Christianity and Roman Stoicism. The most basic difference is found in the ethical scope of the two: While the latter teaches unqualifieduniversal humanity, the former seems to condition the ethical scope in terms of religious adherence.

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Christianity is commonly held to have introduced an entirely new and better morality into the ancient world, a new morality that was decidedly universal, in contrast to the ethics of the philosophical schools which were only concerned with the intellectual few. Runar M. Thorsteinsson presentsa challenge to this view by comparing Christ...

Dr. Runar M. Thorsteinsson is Lecturer and Research Fellow in New Testament Studies at Lund University and the University of Copenhagen.

other books by Runar M. Thorsteinsson

Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pagesPublished:June 27, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199578648

ISBN - 13:9780199578641

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Table of Contents

IntroductionI: Moral Teaching in Roman Stocism1. Introduction to Roman Stoicism2. Lucius Annaeus Seneca3. Gaius Musonius Rufus4. EpictetusII: Moral Teaching in Roman Christianity5. Introduction to Roman Christianity6. Paul's Letter to Romans7. The First Letter of Peter8. The First Letter of ClementIII: Roman Christainity and Roman Stocism: A Comparison9. Moral Teachings Compared10. Ethical Scope ComparedConclusionBibliographyIndex of Modern AuthorsIndex of Ancient References