Stoicism and Christianity

I have always found it remarkable that the philosophy known as stoicism that was developed before Christ was born and that had its anticedents in Greek culture could bear such a close affinity with Christianity. This work explores this affinity via a thorough investigation of one of the premier works of Stoicism, the "First Book of the Discourses of Epictetus". What follows on this website is a complete book that comprises a study of the subject, based on a course I wrote a few years ago.

The format is very easy to follow. After an explanatory preface the first book of "The Meditations" of Epictetus commences. Each paragraph is interspersed with an explanation of the meaning, philosophical connections to Christianity, historical context, and personal application. Each chapter heading is spelled out in the table of contents below and will be comprised of several web pages.

Chapter 1: Things Which Are not in Our Power
Chapter 2: How to Maintain Proper Character
Chapter 3: The Principle that God is the Father of all Men
Chapter 4: On Progress or Improvement
Chapter 5: Against the Academics
Chapter 6: On Providence
Chapter 7: On Sophistry
Chapter 8: Concerning Faculties and the Uninstruced
Chapter 9: Our Relationship with God Has Consequences
Chapter 10: Preferment at Rome
Chapter 11: On Natural Affection
Chapter 12: Contentment
Chapter 13: How to Act According to the Will of God
Chapter 14: The Deity Oversees All Things
Chapter 15: What Philosophy Promises
Chapter 16: Providence
Chapter 17: The Logical Art is Necessary
Chapter 18: Do Not Be Angry with the Mistakes of Others
Chapter 19: How We Should Behave to Tyrants
Chapter 20: How Reason Contemplates Itself
Chapter 21: The Desire to Be Admired
Chapter 22: General Principles
Chapter 23: Against Epicurus
Chapter 24: How We Struggle with Circumstances
Chapter 25: More on Struggle
Chapter 26: The Law of Life
Chapter 27: On Appearances
Chapter 28: On Good and Evil
Chapter 29: On Constancy and Courage
Chapter 30: What to Do in Difficult Circumstances

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This is a translation and explanation of the first book of the Discourses of Epictetus. His words are in regular text, comments are in bold.

Biographical Information on Epictetus

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