Conceptions and Images:

Hellenistic Philosophical Theology and Traditional Religion

Keimpe A. Algra

2007 | 47 pages | ISBN 978-90-6984-513-5 | free

Tensions between Greek philosophy, in particular cosmology (including theology), and certain aspects of traditional religion can be traced back to the early stages of Presocratic thought. In the Hellenistic period the debate concerning the relation between philosophical theology and the religious tradition seems to have intensified, a phenomenon which was probably due to the more strongly systematic and inclusive nature of the philosophies involved and to their addressing a larger audience. This essay explores the various ways (critique, appropriation, re-interpretation) in which Stoics and Epicureans positioned themselves in relation to traditional religion. Particular attention is paid to philosophical attitudes towards the fashioning and veneration of cult statues.