The Politics of Asceticism: An Analysis of the Political Spirituality of Imperial Stoicism

Publikation: Bog/antologi/rapport/Ph.d. afhandlingPh.d. afhandlingForskningpeer review


The philosophy of the Imperial Stoics is often described as apolitical or politically conservative, but Imperial Stoicism was neither of these. The Imperial Stoics were highly engaged with developing a philosophy that was one of the most politically ambitious philosophies in all of ancient philosophy. By insisting that philosophy was a way of life, the Stoics tried to provide a philosophy that could change humanity for the better, and as a consequence also transform human societies. For the Stoics, everyone should undergo a rigorous philosophical training regime in order to become a divine sage, and this they thought could potentially lead to a radically new society that would be entirely rational, deeply egalitarian, and completely property-less.

This dissertation attempts to outline how the Imperial Stoics’ philosophy as a way of life comprised a political spirituality that was firmly grounded in a metaphysical claim of the existence of a divine Cosmic City in which all of humanity lived. This dissertation provides readings of the ancient sources through the lens of such thinkers as Michel Foucault, Henry Lefebvre, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Peter Sloterdijk in a novel re-interpretation of ancient Stoic political philosophy, and argues that the Stoics were some of history’s first radical political thinkers.
Antal sider250
StatusIkke-udgivet - 11 jan. 2019
Udgivet eksterntJa