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Emotion and Peace of MindFrom Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation$
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Richard Sorabji

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199256600

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199256600.001.0001

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First Movements As Bad Thoughts

First Movements As Bad Thoughts

Origen and his Legacy

(p.343) 22 First Movements As Bad Thoughts
Emotion and Peace of Mind

Richard Sorabji (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Christ or Jewish patriarchs got assimilated to the Stoic ideal of freedom from emotion (apatheia) by reinterpreting their apparent emotions as first movements or ‘prepassions’: Philo the Jew, Origen, Didymus the Blind, Jerome, Augustine. But the Stoic idea was transformed in Origen from non-cognitive shocks to ‘bad thoughts’. These are sometimes temptations and they are no longer so sharply distinguished from emotions as in the Stoics, although they do, at least in the case of Christ, fall short of sin. The Stoic theory of avoiding emotion became a theory of resisting temptation, and the concentration on thoughts opened up new gradations of question about whether one dwelt on the thought, enjoyed it, or put oneself in the way of it.

Keywords:   prepassion, apatheia, sin, temptation, Philo the Jew, Augustine

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