The Therapeutae - Pre-Christian Jewish-Buddhist Syncretists?

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Bahiya Baby, modified 3 Months ago at 1/25/24 7:52 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 1/25/24 7:38 PM

The Therapeutae - Pre-Christian Jewish-Buddhist Syncretists?

Posts: 487 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
A few different researchers have been pointing in these general areas lately. I hope to see much more about it. Currently waiting on a few people to finish articles/papers etc.

Video Here

Paper Here
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Bahiya Baby, modified 3 Months ago at 1/25/24 7:47 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 1/25/24 7:47 PM

RE: The Therapeutae - Pre-Christian Jewish-Buddhist Syncretists?

Posts: 487 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
My ears always perk up whenever these old traditions are discussed with phrases like "direct contemplation of the divine."
Derek2, modified 3 Months ago at 1/25/24 10:29 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 1/25/24 10:29 PM

RE: The Therapeutae - Pre-Christian Jewish-Buddhist Syncretists?

Posts: 231 Join Date: 9/21/16 Recent Posts
It's an intriguing topic.

The primary source on the Therapeutae is the De vita contemplativa of Philo of Alexandria. You can read excerpts here:

https://web.archive.org/web/20050318171817/http://www-relg-studies.scu.edu/facstaff/murphy/courses/sctr026/therapeutae.htm

I haven't read it recently, but when I did, I saw both similarities and differences between the Therapeutae and Buddhist monastic communities. So the question then is, are the similarities due to direct influence or to coincidence? I don't think there's enough evidence to say.

On the subsequent question of the Therapeutae being a possible "missing link" between Buddhist monasticism and Christian monasticism, I think not. The Therapeutae flourished in the 1st century and lived in communities that came together once a week. The first Christian monks lived 200 years later and were hermits.
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Bahiya Baby, modified 3 Months ago at 1/25/24 10:48 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 1/25/24 10:46 PM

RE: The Therapeutae - Pre-Christian Jewish-Buddhist Syncretists?

Posts: 487 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
I'm super intrigued by Buddhisms influence in the "west" at those times (not exactly western by contemporary standards but Greece, Egypt, Afghanistan etc). Yeah the Theraputae are just another one of these "huh, what if" kind of communities. We really don't know.  

What I do know is, if we look at the greek magical papyri, that these people were very comfortable with syncretism and readily adapted and integrated any new religious, magical technology they could get their hands on. So it does make me wonder about the potential for the proliferation of meditative techniques from the east in culture around that time. 

We know there were Buddhists around but information about them is hard to come by. 

A drunk historian in a pub once gave me an extremely detailed break-down of what he claimed was a little known aspect of the spread of Buddhism in that area but it was very late at night and I can't remember the specifics. Something something power vacuum, something something death of Alexander. 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 3 Months ago at 1/26/24 6:15 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 1/26/24 6:15 AM

RE: The Therapeutae - Pre-Christian Jewish-Buddhist Syncretists?

Posts: 374 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
It definitely made it over the greece in the 4th or 5th century (you can tell by the Buddha statues that have flowly robes and look like real people vs the "normal" ones where he kinda looks weird...)

The things themselves are equally indifferent, and unstable, and indeterminate, and therefore neither our senses nor our opinions are either true or false. For this reason then we must not trust them, but be without opinions, and without bias, and without wavering, saying of every single thing that it no more is than is not, or both is and is not, or neither is nor is not.
Thats from Pyrrho.

more here 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Buddhism
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 6:13 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 6:13 AM

SPAM RE: The Therapeutae - Pre-Christian Jewish-Buddhist Syncretists?

Posts: 2476 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Heh, another spam post above, the @ is followed by a link to a game site.
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 7:50 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/4/24 7:50 AM

RE: SPAM RE: The Therapeutae - Pre-Christian Jewish-Buddhist Syncretists?

Posts: 5236 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
I banned the user and removed that post. Thanks for the heads-up!

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