The ancient philosophy of Stoicism is the topic for fans of philosophy or New Testament buffs — if they have thick wallets:
The Corinthian Dissenters and the Stoics (Studies in Biblical Literature) (Peter Lang Publishing, 2007) by Albert V. Garcilazo for $71.95 at Amazon.com;
Spinoza and the Stoics: Power, Politics and the Passions (Continuum Studies in Philosophy) (Continuum International Publishing Group, 2007) by Firmin Debrabander for $120 at Amazon.com.
But Stoicism is receiving attention beyond the obscure academic presses.
A new book on ancient Stoicism is due in September.
At least three books about ancient Stoicism have been re-released in paperback this year.
Several more books about Stoicism or the thought of individual Stoics have been released in the past few years.
Why are people into the Stoics these days? I’m trying to answer that question for an upcoming article in LiturgicalCredo.com, but for the moment, let’s just look at what’s new.
Due in September is Stoicism and Emotion (University of Chicago Press, 2007) by Margaret R. Graver.
The book “shows that they did not simply advocate an across-the-board suppression of feeling, as stoicism implies in today’s English, but instead conducted a searching examination of these powerful psychological responses, seeking to understand what attitude toward them expresses the deepest respect for human potential,” according to the description at Amazon.com.
The three books re-released in paperback this year, suggesting an ongoing interest in the subject matter, are:
Stoic Warriors: The Ancient Philosophy Behind the Military Mind (Oxford University Press, 2005, 2007), by Nancy Sherman
The Stoic Life: Emotions, Duties, & Fate (Oxford University Press, 2005, 2007), by Tad Brennan
The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness (HarperSanFrancisco, 1995; HarperOne, 2007), which was co-authored by Epictetus, an ancient Stoic, and Sharon Lebell, a writer and musician who lives, in our time, in Northern California.
Note that two of the three paperback re-releases were published in hardback just two years ago.
Unlike the first two books mentioned at the top of this post, Graver’s books and the paperbacks are priced within a range one might expect to pay for a book.
The priceless online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has an entry on Stoicism here: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/stoicism/ .