Hamartia, Evil, and Deity in Archaic and Classical Greek Thought

Our next monthly meeting will be held on Friday, May 14th from 3:00pm to 4:30pm. We will be discussing “Hamartia, Evil, and Deity in Archaic and Classical Greek Thought” by Will Desmond from the Spring 2020 (Volume 47.1) issue of Communio entitled “Lead Us Not into Temptation, but Deliver Us from Evil”.

The following is taken from the Introduction to the issue:
Will Desmond examines the distinctiveness of Christian forgiveness relative to Greek literature, philosophy, and religion in “Hamartia, Evil, and Deity in Archaic and Classical Greek Thought.” It is revealing that sacrifice, though a prime requirement of Greek piety, was not directed toward the expiation of sin nor toward the reception of mercy from the gods. In the tragic worldview, “the divine is jealous, and often cunningly malign, if it does indeed lure individuals to their doom. . . . To such deities, one cannot even pray: ‘Lead us not into temptation.’” Not even the classical philosophers present moral failing as in need of or affected by divine mercy. According to Desmond, confession of a God who can forgive us and who calls us to forgiveness paradoxically demands a graver account of sin’s transgression than was acknowledged by the pagan world before Christ.

Given the current shutdown, we will be holding an online meeting over zoom.

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