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Posthuman Transformation in Ancient Mediterranean Thought


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Table of Contents

Preface; Introduction. Angels, daimones, and the modern thirst for transformation; 1: Hesiod and daimonification in the Archaic and Classical periods; 2. Empedocles as daimon; 3. Plato and the moralization of daimonification; 4. Daimonification in Xenocrates, Plutarch, Apuleius, and Maximus of Tyre; 5. Moses angelified in Philo of Alexandria; 6. Origen, angelification, and the angelified Jesus; 7. Plotinus as a living daimon; 8. The angelification of Zostrianos; Conclusion: Advent or apocalypse?

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Ancient theories of posthuman transformation can shape, chasten, and reform modern (biotechnical) theories of posthuman enhancement.

About the Author

M. David Litwa is Research Fellow at the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne. His publications include Iesus Deus (2014), Desiring Divinity (2016), Hermetica II: The Excerpts of Stobaeus, Papyrus Fragments, and Ancient Testimonies in an English Translation with Notes and Introduction (Cambridge, 2018) and How the Gospels Became History (2019).


'In this pioneering and wide-ranging work, Posthuman Transformation in Ancient Mediterranean Thought, M. David Litwa connects contemporary conversations in transhumanist thought with ancient philosophical traditions of angelification (alternatively, 'daimonification'). Chief among this book's virtues is its impressive range: Litwa provides comparative analyses of authors from Greco-Roman, Jewish, Christian, and Hermetic traditions, ranging from the 8th century BCE to the 3rd century CE. Litwa's work is inclusive even of traditions too often treated as marginal (e.g., 'Gnostic' texts), providing a basis for fresh comparative insights.' Travis W. Proctor, Reading Religion
'This is an enjoyable, erudite, and informative book ... This book should be read with interest and pleasure by scholars from a range of disciplines but is also accessible to undergraduates and general readers.' Tom Mackenzie, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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