10 August 2012
In Defence of Christianity. Early Christian Apologists
Second century A.D. was a formative period of major importance for Christianity. In this period the basic structures of Christian theology were formed. In this process the so-called Christian Apologists were important players. They all wrote important treatises (apologies) in which they defended Christians and Christianity against accusations from the surrounding society. Explaining and defending Christianity these Apologists became central actors in the formation of early Christianity. They made use of their philosophical and rhetorical education and were therefore important mediators between Christianity and Greco-Roman religious and philosophical traditions. Studying these Apologists is therefore one of the best ways to acquire knowledge about the formation of early Christianity and the role of Greco-Roman traditions in this process. Early Christian apologetics was the theme for an international research project based at Aarhus University from 2004-2007. This project resulted in many publications including a book with chapters on most of these early Christian Apologists. In the course we will use this book as a guide when we read the Apologists own treatises. The apologies will be read in Greek and Latin with parallel English translations. Course offered by Department of Culture and Society.
Anders Christian Jacobsen, Aarhus University
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