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Critique and Apologetics

Jews, Christians and Pagans in Antiquity

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Edited By Jörg Ulrich, David Brakke and Anders-Christian Jacobsen

This book contains 13 contributions from an international conference held in 2007. The idea of the conference was to investigate the confrontations and the cultural, philosophical and religious exchange between different religious groups in antiquity and to establish a more comprehensive theory about what apologetics was considered to be both in the context of antiquity and from the perspective of modern scholarship: is it possible to define a literary genre called apologetics? Is it possible to talk about apologetics as a certain kind of discourse which is not limited to a special kind of texts? Which argumentative strategies are implied in apologetic discourses? The essays in this volume present a new approach to these questions.

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Preface 7

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Preface In this book we have collected 13 contributions from a conference held at the beginning of 2007. The title of the conference was Jews, Christians and Pagans in Antiquity - Critique and Apologetics. The conference concluded a research project with the same title at the Faculty of Theology, University of Aarhus. The project was in- augurated in January 2004. The idea of the research project was to investigate the confrontations and the cultural, philosophical and religious exchange between different religious groups in antiquity. As its starting point, the project took non-Christian and non- Jewish Greek and Roman (traditionally known as pagan) critique of Judaism and Christianity, along with the Jewish and Christian apologies against this tendency. We have further worked on ancient Jewish, Christian and Greco-Roman sources which in one way or another reflect the dialogues and conflicts between religious groups in the period from about 100 BC until about 500 AD. We have thus worked on many different kinds of texts - not just those which tra- ditionally are referred to as apologetic texts. As a consequence we have tried to establish a more comprehensive theory about what apologetics was considered to be both in the context of antiquity and from the perspective of modern scholarship: is it possible to define a literary genre called apologetics? Is it possible to talk about apologetics as a certain kind of discourse which is not limited to a special kind of texts? Which argumentative strategies are implied in apologetic discourses? Many...

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