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Your feedback is really important to us to help us evaluate the effectiveness of the Stoic exercises, and to help us to secure funding for any future projects. We would very much like you to fill in all the scales even if you only dipped in to Stoic week a little.
As a small gesture of appreciation for your time we are offering four prizes to be drawn at random from people who fill in all the questionnaires. The prizes are
* Two £20 amazon.co.uk vouchers and
* Two books written by the Exeter Stoic team – Jules Evans’ Philosophy for Life and Gill Garratt’s CBT for Work
To qualify for the draw you need to have completed all 5 questionnaires on line by SUNDAY December 8th at 5.00 pm. Those who have already submitted entries will also be included in the draw. If you have won one of the prizes, we will contact you by email by Dec 15th.
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Thanking you for your participation in Stoic Week.
Jules Evans considers the the similarities and differences between Stoicism and Christianity, which was the theme of his workshop, with Mark Vernon, at the Stoicism for Everyday Life Event in London. Please chip in with your own reflections and observations too.
1) Serving God / the Logos
I think one of the main similarities, one of the ways in which Stoicism anticipated Christianity, is the idea of serving the will of God. Neither Stoicism or Christianity demand that God or the Gods do your will (and bless you with children, or a good harvest, or a good hunt etc), which is really a form of operational magic, but rather that you do God’s will, that you accept the will of God and try to serve it.
We should also note that the Stoics were monotheists - they followed Heraclitus in believing in one Logos. In this they can be compared to the evolving monotheism of Judaism, particularly that of Moses around two centuries earlier. Later Christians would draw on the Stoic concept of the Logos, particularly in the marvelous opening to the Gospel of St John. I wonder if one could argue that Stoicism is in some ways more monotheistic than Christianity, in that there is no opposing Enemy, no angels and demons, and no Trinity? There is just the Logos.
Anyway, back to this idea of giving up your will and serving the Logos. Cleanthes said: ‘Conduct me, Jove, and you, 0 Destiny, Wherever your decrees have fixed my station.’ Cleanthes’ Hymn to Zeus anticipates, I think, some of the noble sentiments of the Lord’s Prayer:
O God, without you nothing comes to be on earth,
neither in the region of the heavenly poles, nor in the sea,
except what evil men do in their folly.
But you know how to make extraordinary things suitable,
and how to bring order forth from chaos; and even that which is unlovely is lovely to you.
For thus you have joined all things, the good with the bad, into one,
so that the eternal Word of all came to be one.