Paul and Seneca in Dialogue by Joey Dodson, David Briones

By Joey Dodson, David Briones

Paul and Seneca in Dialogue assembles a global crew of students to check the philosophical and theological strands in Paul and Seneca's writings, putting them in discussion with each other. Arguably, no different first-century, non-Christian writer's innovations resemble Paul's as heavily as Seneca's, and students have frequently came across worth in evaluating Pauline ideas with Seneca's writings. however, except the occasional article, wide comparability, or cross-reference, an in-depth severe comparability of those writers has now not been tried for over fifty years - considering that Sevenster's monograph of 1961. within the gentle of the gigantic volume of study supplying new views on either Paul and Seneca because the early Nineteen Sixties, this new comparability of the 2 writers is lengthy late.

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Over against the agitators who promote circumcision while criticizing those crucified with Christ, Paul proclaims the new creation that has been inaugurated by the crucifixion of the old world. In the conclusion, Dodson highlights the remarkable resonances. For instance, both Seneca and Paul refer to the cross in relation to sinful passions and depict themselves as crucified with others – Plato and the giants of philosophy on the one hand and Christ and fellow believers on the other. Dodson goes on to show, however, how these parallels underscore the differences in the authors’ broader understanding of sanctification – such as how Seneca draws upon the cross to admit his moral defeat in his present situation, while Introduction 17 Paul does so to announce Christ’s victory over his former plight.

24 Earlier in the century scholars had briefly suggested this,25 but detailed arguments are first encountered in the 1330s, in Giovanni Colonna’s De viris illustribus. He offered three kinds of evidence for Seneca’s conversion: Jerome’s biographical notice (which he took to mean that Seneca was a Christian saint); the Seneca-Paul correspondence; and a series of quotations from Seneca’s works that he believed clearly contained Christian doctrine (for instance, he, like numerous later writers, saw the Trinity in Dial.

Sometime during the next few centuries pseudo-Linus expanded on the biographical material provided by the letters in his elaboration of the earlier Passio Pauli,18 but then we hear nothing until Alcuin (ca. 735-804) produced a text of the letters at the court of Charlemagne;19 and the earliest surviving manuscripts are from the ninth century. This mirrors the patchy traces left by the genuine works of Seneca in the early medieval centuries; but after the Carolingian period, and especially from the late eleventh century onwards, surviving manuscripts of Seneca become more numerous and include more of his works, until in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries large single-volume Senecan collections become common.

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