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Epicurean Communal Psychagogy

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Chapter Summary

Philodemus' On Frank Criticism contains evidence of a debate among Epicureans similar to the debate between the milder and more rigoristic Cynics, and as such, the Epicureans were sharers in this ubiquitous tradition. This chapter focuses on the implicit presuppositions of the use of the mixed method, especially as it relates to the classification of students and the social relations highlighted in the use of that method. The Philodemean material presents a promising comparison to Paul because of its communal setting and because of member participation in the psychagogic process. Although Epicureans and Paul shared with other moralists a positive view of the effectiveness of the mixed method of praise and blame, the common use of hortatory practices, the composition of the constituents of these respective communities, and the participatory and rotational forms of these practices set them apart from others who shared in this common tradition.

Keywords: Epicurean communal psychagogy; Paul; Philodemus' On Frank Criticism



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