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Stoics and Early Christians on Blessedness

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the way in which Stoics and early Christians conceived blessedness, that is, happiness. Blessedness and happiness are translation equivalents for exactly the same terms and concepts in Greek. It is interested in how Stoics and early Christians constructed their views on happiness and how these views fitted into their views on reality. The chapter deals with Stoic views on happiness. Although reference will be made to different members of Stoic tradition, author uses Epictetus as his main representative. The chapter deals with early Christian views on happiness. It focuses on a few parallel statements concerning happiness in Stoicism and the New Testament. Although early Christians did not have a particular doctrine about happiness, they undoubtedly formed part of a tradition where happiness was related to God as the giver of happiness. In the New Testament, happiness is related to the coming of Jesus and to his teaching.

Keywords: blessedness; coming of Jesus; early Christians; Epictetus; happiness; New Testament; Stoic views



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