APATHEIA

APATHEIA. Two aspects of avpa,qeia were distinguished in Greek thought, one theoretical and one ethical. In the theoretical sense avpa,qeia is the state that characterizes the divine intelligence, and human intelligence when the latter fulfills its noetic function. This idea was already clearly formulated in Anaxagoras who calls avpaqh,j the divine nouj, its highest principle pl. 56 Diehl and was received in its entirety by Aristotle, who reserves this attribute to both human intelligence in its actions An. III 430a 17-18,24 and the divine intelligence Met. L 1073a 11. VApa,qeia, clearly set forth by Plato, Phaedo 82c where the philosopher is portrayed as entirely free from bodily pleasures and indifferent to life’s evils later became the supreme ethical ideal in the earliest Stoicism: that of Zeno, Cleanthes and Chrysippus see, e.g., SVF I 205-208 regarding the passions; III 443, 444, 447, 448, 449, 450 regarding the absence of passions in the wise. Replaced in the middle Stoicism of Panetius and Posidonius and also in Antiochus of Ascalon 1st c. BC by the metriopa,qeia or simple moderation of the passions of Plato’s Republic, the ancient Academy and the Peripatetic school, avpa,qeia was revived and came to represent ethical perfection in Philo, in the Neoplatonism of Plotinus and Porphyry, and in Clement of Alexandria: in all these authors metriopa,qeia is not rejected but relegated to an earlier ethical state, while apatheia occupies the highest level and merges with the purification ka,qarsij of Plato’s Phaedo and with the formula o`moi,wsij Qew| kata. to. dunato,n Plato, Theaetetus 176b, whose explanation it goes on to illustrate, God being completely avpaqh,j see the relevant material and the discussion regarding Antiochus of Ascalon in S. Lilla, Clement of Alexandria, Oxford 1971, 99-112. In Neoplatonism one sees a strict combination of the ethical and theoretical aspects of avpa,qeia. Only one who has arrived at complete purification total detachment from the body and the higher ethical level represented by the elimination of the passions which originate in the body and in the irrational soul possesses the theoretical virtues, the highest class of human virtues, and can thus exercise the natural function of his intelligence which is already avpaqh,j: the contemplation of the transcendent realities present in the divine nouj, which is by its very nature avpaqh,j the ethical ideal of the o`moi,wsij Qew| consists precisely in this; see Plotinus, Enn. I,2,3 67,19-21, I,2,4 68,19, I,2,6 70,12-13, Porphyry, Sent. 32 25,8-9, 27,8-9, 28,3-4. Origen, like Clement and Philo, also excludes any passion from God the so-called wrath of God is not a pa,qoj but only the means God uses to teach sinners; C. Cels. IV 72, I: Koetschau 341-342 and sees in avpa,qeia ethical perfection Comm. on John VIII 36: Preuschen 376, 24-28; Comm. in Matt. I 398,27: Klostermann; fr. 64, III: Klostermann 41. Gregory of Nyssa, speaking through Macrina, considers the total elimination of the passions in this life as damaging, since it would deprive the soul of the desire for God and of the weapons needed to combat the enemy of the good De an. et res.: PG 46, 65 A-B; only after death does avpa,qeia reflect the condition of the completely pure soul that, by now in possession of the good and having become similar to it, can rid itself of every desire De an. et res.: PG 46, 96A; noteworthy in this last passage of Gregory is the combination of the idea of likeness to God with that of the absence of passions characteristic of Neoplatonism and Clement. In On the Beatitudes I and II, Gregory considers only contentment to be possible for human beings, not the total elimination of the passions, which remains beyond the reach of human nature; he also excludes the possibility of a complete imitation of the divine nature which is per se not subject to the passions and thus any kind of arrival at a true likeness to God GNO VII, 2: pp. 82,24-28, 95,2296,2, 96,11-16. This condi tion, however, represents for him only a preliminary ethical stage, that of the metriopa,qeia. In homily V he says that thanks to purity, we draw near to what is pure GNO VII, 2: p. 124,9, and he returns more than once in his writings to the reconquest of the original purity and beauty of the divine image impressed on the human soul by God at the moment of creation; he also mentions this idea in a famous section of homily VI On the Beatitudes GNO VII, 2: pp. 142,15-22; 143,4-13, 16-23; 143,28144,4; 144,9-13. Ultimately, then, the two stages metriopa,qeiaavpa,qeia found in Philo, Clement, Plotinus and Porphyry are found in Gregory too. Ps.-Dionysius the Areopagite attributes to angelic essences a pure and impassible contemplation Cel. hier. II, 4 14,14, making his own the Anaxagoran, Aristotelian and Neoplatonic doctrine of the strict interdependence between avpa,qeia and noetic activity. Regarding thrones he says that they receive divine illumination in a state of total absence of passions Cel. hier. VII,1 28,10. Regarding human beings, the blessed after resurrection will partake of the light lavished upon their impassible and immaterial intelligence Div. Nam. I, 4 115,1; and it is precisely the impassible soul that enjoys visions Ep. IX,1 198,8-9. VApa,qeia is also present, at least to a certain degree, in the newly baptized Eccl. hier. II,8 78,12; and above all in one who rises to the highest degree of perfection Eccl. hier. III,7 86,15. Vlker’s studies see bibl. have shown how avpa,qeia is an essential component in the ethical systems not only of Philo, Clement, Origen and ps.- Dionysius but also in later authors such as Maximus the Confessor and John Climacus, who dedicates to it the 29th degree of his Ladder of Divine Acsent PG 88, 1148-1152. Regarding the presence of avpa,qeia in these and other late authors, the article of Bardy in DS is still instructive see bibl.. G. Bardy DS I, 727-746; P. De Labriolle: RAC I, 484-487; M. Forschner, LTK 1, 801; A. Schmekel, Die Philosophie der mittleren Stoa, Berlin 1892, 219 and 272-273; M. Pohlenz, Das dritte und vierte Buch der Tusculanae: Hermes 41 1906 321-335; K. Gronau, Poseidonios und die j¼disch-christliche Genesisexegese, Leipzig 1914, 252-256; B. Strache, Der Eklektizismus des Antiochos von Askalon, Berlin 1921, 31, 37; Philo von Alexandreia, NGA phil. hist. Kl. 1942, 460-461; Klemens von Alexandreia und sein hellenisches Christentum, NGA phil. hist. Kl. 1943, 125 and 166ff.; Die Stoa, Gttingen 1959, I, 150-153, 155, 199-202, 236-252, 376-397, 411-421; II, 199; T. R¼ther, Die sittliche Forderung der apatheia in den beiden ersten christlichen Jahrhunderten und bei Klemens von Alexandrien, Freiburg 1949; S. Lilla, Clement of Alexandria, Oxford 1971, 99-112; Id., La teologia negativa: Helikon 22-27 1982-1987 215 Anaxagoras, 228 Aristotle, 241 Philo; 28 1988 254-255 Plotinus, 278-279 Porphyry; W. Vlker, Fortschritt und Vollendung bei Philo von Alexandrien, TU 49.1, Leipzig 1938, 262-268; Id., Der wahre Gnostiker nach Clemens Alexandrinus, TU 57, Berlin 1952, 524- 540; Id., Das Vollkommenheitsideal des Origenes, T¼bingen 1931, 153-158; Id., Gregor von Nyssa als Mystiker, Wiesbaden 1955, 259-264 It. tr. ed. C.O. Tommasi, Milan 1993, 228-233; Id., Kontemplation und Ekstase bei Ps. Dionysius Areopagita, Wiesbaden 1958, 56-67; Id., Maximus Confessor als Meister des geistlichen Lebens, Wiesbaden 1965, 410-423; Id., Scala Paradisi: Eine Studie zu Johannes Climacus und zugleich eine Vorstudie zu Symeon dem neuen Theologen, Wiesbaden 1968, 247-254.Apatheia Deco (@ApatheiaDeco) | Twitter travelquaz

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