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Philosophic PrideStoicism and Political Thought from Lipsius to Rousseau$
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Christopher Brooke

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691152080

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691152080.001.0001

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How the Stoics Became Atheists

How the Stoics Became Atheists

Chapter:
(p.127) Chapter Six How the Stoics Became Atheists
Source:
Philosophic Pride
Author(s):

Christopher Brooke

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691152080.003.0007

This chapter explores the wider and largely Continental story of how the Stoics became atheists. The Neostoicisms of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century had been explicitly intended as supplements to mainstream varieties of Christianity. Indeed, even Lipsius remained consistent with his argument that Stoicism, with respect to both its ethics and its physics, provided an appropriate philosophical framework for a well-lived Christian life. Though a number of factors during the seventeenth century had contributed to the Stoics' atheistic turn, as this chapter shows, this shift within Stoicism is credited to Benedict Spinoza and his detailed examinations on the nature of God.

Keywords:   atheism, Benedict Spinoza, Christianity, Pierre Bayle, Ralph Cudworth, Johann Franz Buddeus, Spinozism, Stoicism

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