The Art of Living

I have read Epictetus before. The translation was old-timey and stilted.  There is a new book out which is honestly a paraphrase and a slight elaboration of Epictetus for moderns.  The title page reads,

“The Art of Living

The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness


A New Interpretation by Sharon Lebell”

I would compare the way this book treats Epictetus to the way the Message paraphrase treats the Bible.  It is not really a translation.  It is a “new interpretation”.

Nevertheless, I appreciate it and think it does give us roughly the approach to life that Epictetus proposed.

I am going to use the “spirituality” tag for this series of posts as I read the book, even though it is not Christian or Jewish spirituality.  My proposal is that practical philosophies such as those of Epictetus or Confucius can aid a Christian or Jewish spirituality without our having to adopt ancient Roman or Chinese religion.  Spirituality is concerned with the Art of Living.

Remember my thesis is that Jesus and the New Testament’s writers expected the resurrection of the dead and the Last Judgment to bring an end to history in the first century.  They did not prepare Christians for the centuries of delay and the need to cope with the ongoing joy and tragedy of life. Most Christians supplement their spirituality with therapeutic strategies drawn from psychotherapy, Buddhism, humanism, and so forth.  I just want to point to what may be a better supplement for some of us.


About theoutwardquest

I have many interests, but will blog mostly about what I read in the fields of Bible and religion.
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