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7 Towards Understanding the Apologists: Review Article

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Chapter Summary

The first extant writings to address the pagan world are those of the Apologists of the latter half of the second century. Christians had, of course, always been aware of the special relationship they were to have with the outside world, but that concern did not become explicit as a major creative force in Christian literature before the Greek Apologists. On the surface, the purpose of the Apologies was to defend Christianity against the charges of atheism, cannibalism, and incest brought against Christians. Henry Chadwick believes that the initial syntheses between the Christian Gospel and the ideas of the Hellenistic world were on the side of religion rather than philosophy. Justin is the most optimistic second-century theologian about the harmony of Christianity and Greek philosophy.

Keywords: christianity; Greek apologists; Hellenistic philosophy; Henry Chadwick; pagan world



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