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The Patristic Context In Early Grotius

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Chapter Summary

The use of patristic texts was tightly bound up with the needs of the contemporary discussion which provided Hugo Grotius with sources for his patristic citations. Grotius's advocacy of tolerance with respect to various forms of Christianity determines his use of patristic texts as well. He points out the diversity of expressions in the Early Church and therefore replaces questions of dogmatic definition with the question of how to handle orthodoxy and heresy in society. Grotius's notion of Christian liberty is connected to awareness of context and intrinsically linked to a historical understanding. In his writings, contextualisation involves both religious-historical comparison and the integration of general sources from antiquity. With regard to early Christian sources, this means that Grotius understands them as deeply rooted in the broader ancient context. This approach to early Christian literature is already visible in De Iure Praedae.

Keywords: Christian literature; De Iure Praedae; Hugo Grotius; Patristic sources



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