What about Stoicism?
#1
At the recommendation of a member on this Forum, I recently ordered and read Dr. Kevin Vost's The Porch and the Cross: Ancient Stoic Wisdom for Modern Christian Living.

It was an interesting book which has certainly peeked my interest in the subject, and I would recommend others read it.  However, I am not here to talk about the book, but about the usefulness of the Stoic philosophy for Christians in general.

There certainly appears to be a lot of congruity between Stoicism and Catholicism, especially in regards to the demand to live a life of virtue to attain peace, joy and happiness (at least in this life for the Stoic, and in the next for the Catholic.)                                                                                                                                                           

Would anyone here recommend the study of Stoicism?  If so, which texts and resources would you recommend?  Is there anything to be "on guard" about?  Is there a good Catholic counterpart to the Stoic philosophy?
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#2
(03-16-2018, 09:13 AM)Justin Alphonsus Wrote: At the recommendation of a member on this Forum, I recently ordered and read Dr. Kevin Vost's The Porch and the Cross: Ancient Stoic Wisdom for Modern Christian Living.

It was an interesting book which has certainly peeked my interest in the subject, and I would recommend others read it.  However, I am not here to talk about the book, but about the usefulness of the Stoic philosophy for Christians in general.

There certainly appears to be a lot of congruity between Stoicism and Catholicism, especially in regards to the demand to live a life of virtue to attain peace, joy and happiness (at least in this life for the Stoic, and in the next for the Catholic.)                                                                                                                                                           

Would anyone here recommend the study of Stoicism?  If so, which texts and resources would you recommend?  Is there anything to be "on guard" about?  Is there a good Catholic counterpart to the Stoic philosophy?

Without a doubt, I would think the most important work to read would be "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius.  It's a good time.  Kinda like reading a secular Imitation of Christ.  Some people say it changes their life.  Can't say I feel that way, but it was interesting to compare and contrast it with Catholic thought.  There are much deeper works on the topic out there by miles, but I can't imagine learning about Stoicism without reading it.

Edit: This is the version I have on my bookshelf.  I'm a fan of Fagle.

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#3
I second Meditations as essential. Epictetus (The Encheiridion) and Seneca are the other two big names in stoic ethics.

I recommend Rome's Last Citizen by Rob Goodman and Jimmy Suni if you'd like to get a glimpse into the life of one hardcore stoic, Cato the Younger. In a roundabout way, if it weren't for my appreciation of stoicism and my admiration of Cato during the later period of my years of unbelief, the stage may not have been properly set for my conversion to the Church. There is plenty in stoic ethics for a Christian to draw from, but obviously not so much in their metaphysics and cosmology.
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#4
I majored in philosophy as a second major (alongside Religious Studies which was my 'main major'...go figure LOL) at university and Stoicism was my favorite philosophy prior to embracing Catholicism. I would second (and third, fourth, and fifth if I could) "The Enchiridion". I juggled between Cynics and Stoicism, but Stoicism is far more useful from a Christian perspective I believe. There is room for hope, order, truth, and morality in Stoicism. I would say like Galahad3 without having been a staunch follower of Stoicism I probably would have found myself having a much harder time adopting Catholicism.
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#5
Would you recommend this as a way to interest people in Catholicism?  From what I have read so far, having even a rudimentary understanding of Stoicism would make it easier to enter into the Church.  One would be looking for virtue, and practicing mediation, an asceticism already as a Stoic.
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#6
(03-16-2018, 12:02 PM)Galahad3 Wrote: I second Meditations as essential. Epictetus (The Encheiridion) and Seneca are the other two big names in stoic ethics.

I recommend Rome's Last Citizen by Rob Goodman and Jimmy Suni if you'd like to get a glimpse into the life of one hardcore stoic, Cato the Younger. In a roundabout way, if it weren't for my appreciation of stoicism and my admiration of Cato during the later period of my years of unbelief, the stage may not have been properly set for my conversion to the Church. There is plenty in stoic ethics for a Christian to draw from, but obviously not so much in their metaphysics and cosmology.

Recommended translation of The Encheiridion?  :huh:
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#7
(03-18-2018, 01:20 PM)Imperator Caesar Trump Wrote: Recommended translation of The Encheiridion?  :huh:

Some leads.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Stoicism/commen...omparison/

And here are four translations available on Kindle for $.99.

https://www.amazon.com/Enchiridion-Four-...1944651004
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#8
(03-18-2018, 01:20 PM)Imperator Caesar Trump Wrote: Recommended translation of The Encheiridion?  :huh:

I have a slim little volume translated by Nicholas P. White that's perfectly readable. It's a brief book of straightforward stoic advice, so any translation will do, I imagine.

Amazon appears to have a volume of four different translations:

https://www.amazon.com/Enchiridion-Four-...1944651004
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