Review of Metaphysics 37 (3):624-626 (1984)

Robert Sokolowski
Catholic University of America
Albrecht Dihle is professor of classics at Heidelberg. This book is a development of the Sather Classical Lectures given at Berkeley in 1974. It is an important and informative work, rich in detail, clear in argument, and filled with erudition. Dihle begins by contrasting the Hellenistic philosophical understanding of nature with the Jewish religious understanding of the cosmos. The pagan philosophers saw nature and the world as an ordered whole and sought to conform their minds and their lives to this rational pattern. Galen and other writers after him, however, note that the Jewish scriptures consider the world and nature not as something ultimate but as issuing, in their being and structure, from the arbitrary intention of the creator. After Galen, Celsus wrote to refute the Jewish and also the Christian cosmology. The pagans considered reason as ultimate in the cosmos, while the biblical tradition, it is said, considered will or choice as the origin of the cosmos. According to the pagan understanding, man could become conformed to nature through an intellectual activity, while according to the biblical tradition he could be saved by responding to a divine promise and command, by an act of obedience. In both the pagan and the biblical traditions, cosmology, anthropology and ethics were interrelated. The initial form of the concept of the will arose in the biblical tradition.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph198437312
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 52,956
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Literary Prizes and Literary Criticism in Antiquity.Matthew Wright - 2009 - Classical Antiquity 28 (1):138-177.


Added to PP index

Total views
11 ( #766,323 of 2,343,715 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #514,299 of 2,343,715 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes