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Against the Christians

The Rise of Early Anti-Christian Polemic- Second Printing


Jeffrey W. Hargis

Against the Christians examines the anti-Christian polemic works of Celsus, Porphyry, and Julian the Apostate. The first book to analyze the phenomenon of early anti-Christian literature in depth, it chooses the critics' objection to Christian exclusivism as its starting point. The evolution in the polemic, from a rhetoric of radical distinction to one of «rhetorical assimilation,» reveals a sophisticated attempt to expose contradictions and inconsistencies within Christianity, while at the same time reflecting the process of fusion between Christianity and the culture of late antiquity.


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Table of Contents


1 Defining the Christian "Other": From Persecution to Polemic 1 2 Celsus and the "Revolt Against the Community" 17 3 Celsus, Plato, and the Gods 41 4 Porphyry and the Polemic of Universalism 63 5 Julian the Apostate and the Politics of Hellenism 91 6 Julian and the Bounded God 107 7 Negotiating the Pagan-Christian Divide 129 Notes 139 Select Bibliography 155 Index 167 This page intentionally left blank

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