By Ilaria L.E. Ramelli
Have been slavery and social injustice resulting in dire poverty in antiquity and overdue antiquity purely considered as common, "natural" (Aristotle), or at most sensible whatever morally "indifferent" (the Stoics), or, within the Christian milieu, a tragic yet inevitable final result of the autumn, or perhaps an expression of God's unquestionable will? Social Justice and the Legitimacy of Slavery indicates that there have been additionally definitive condemnations of slavery and social injustice as iniquitous or even impious, and that those got here specifically from ascetics, either in Judaism and in Christianity, and infrequently additionally in Greco-Roman ("pagan") philosophy. Ilaria L. E. Ramelli argues that this relies on a hyperlink not just among asceticism and renunciation, but additionally among asceticism and justice, at the very least in historic and overdue vintage philosophical asceticism.
Ramelli presents a cautious research via all of historic Philosophy (not basically Aristotle and the Stoics, but in addition the Sophists, Socrates, Plato, the Neoplatonists, and masses more), old to Rabbinic Judaism, Hellenistic Jewish ascetic teams comparable to the Essenes and the Therapeutae, all the New testomony, with particular specialise in Paul and Jesus, and Greek, Latin, and Syriac Patristic, from Clement and Origen to the Cappadocians, from John Chrysostom to Theodoret to Byzantine monastics, from Ambrose to Augustine, from Bardaisan to Aphrahat, with out neglecting the Christianized Sentences of Sextus. specifically, Ramelli considers Gregory of Nyssa and the interrelation among concept and perform in all of those historical and patristic philosophers, in addition to to the parallels that emerge of their arguments opposed to slavery and opposed to social injustice.
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Extra info for Social Justice and the Legitimacy of Slavery: The Role of Philosophical Asceticism from Ancient Judaism to Late Antiquity
He probably had many slaves; he came from a rich and noble Etruscan family. 118 However, there are demonstrable Stoic elements that he picks up in his Satires, also linking Cynicism with Stoicism (Satire 13), given the common development of themes in the so-called Stoic-Cynic diatribe. In Satire 13 he often refers to famous Stoic philosophers and doctrines, showing an agreement with them. For instance, he proscribes vengeance and to this end adduces Chrysippus’ precepts, in addition to those of Socrates and Thales.
Like most or all Stoics, he does not seem to have been concerned with the abolition of slavery. 21). It seems that his owner was not a follower of Stoic recommendations of mildness toward one’s slaves. 125 Together with Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus is the last great Roman Stoic. Unlike Seneca, he wrote in Greek, just as Marcus did. He was the disciple of the aforementioned Stoic Musonius, who lived in the age of Nero, and, like Epictetus himself, was the author of diatribes. Their diatribes were written down by their disciples: Lucius was the redactor of those of Musonius, and Arrianus of those of Epictetus.
Several of its exponents will exalt voluntary poverty and at the same time reject slavery, both moral and legal. 51 This parallel does not seem to be accidental and will indeed appear again both in Greek philosophical asceticism and in Christian asceticism, most notably with Nyssen. Plato, with his reception of Pythagoreanism, also seems to have established the connection between asceticism and justice that will obtain within the tradition of philosophical asceticism, most prominently in Christian Platonism.
Social Justice and the Legitimacy of Slavery: The Role of Philosophical Asceticism from Ancient Judaism to Late Antiquity by Ilaria L.E. Ramelli