By John M. Dillon, Andrei Timotin
Platonic Theories of Prayer is a set of ten essays with regards to prayer within the later Platonic culture. the quantity originates from a panel at the subject held on the 2013 ISNS assembly in Cardiff, yet is supplemented through a few invited papers. jointly they give a accomplished view of many of the roles and degrees of prayer attribute of this era. the idea that of prayer is proven to incorporate not only formal petitionary or encomiastic prayer, but in addition theurgical practices and diverse states of meditation and ecstasy practised by means of such significant figures as Plotinus, Porphyry, Iamblichus, Proclus, Damascius or Dionysius the Areopagite.
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Audacter deum roga: nihil illum de alieno rogaturus es. modes of prayer in the hellenic tradition 37 prayers for such things and thou wilt see. One prays: How may I lie with that woman! Thou: How may I not lust to lie with her! Another: How may I be quit of that man! Thou: How may I not wish to be quit of him! Another: How may I not lose my little child! Thou: How may I not dread to lose him. 26 transl. r. haines These two texts require some clarification: in Seneca’s view, we must only ask of god that which is dependent on him; the health of the soul and of the body.
What you will not require when you are rid of the body, that despise, but practise thyself in that you will need when you are set free, calling on God to be your helper. You will need none of those things which chance often gives and again takes away. 23 transl. a. zimmern The optimistic ending of this text deserves particular attention: the correct request is within each of us by nature, and we are able to discover it with the progression of our spiritual life and with the help of God. A contemporary of Porphyry, Iamblichus, has preserved for us a good example of a spiritualised petitionary prayer.
Lamb The reason for this return, explains Socrates, is that the tyrants and strategists fear losing their lives in exercising the functions obtained following their prayers. Alcibiades comments on Socrates’ words by underlining that “through prayer we demand the worst things for ourselves” (143b) and he concludes that henceforth we should speak not of prayer, but rather of curse (κατάρα), since by demanding from the gods that which is unsuitable, we are cursing ourselves. A second argument is that of the immorality of petitionary prayer.
Platonic Theories of Prayer by John M. Dillon, Andrei Timotin