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Critique and Apologetics

Jews, Christians and Pagans in Antiquity


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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The Diversity of Apologetics: From Genre to a Mode of Thinking 15


The Diversity of Apologetics: From Genre to a Mode of Thinking* Anders Klostergaard Petersen The aim of this essay is to refine the understanding of apologet- ics by developing a typology capable of encompassing a number of very different phenomena traditionally subsumed under the um- brella term: apologetics. In order to avoid misunderstandings, let me from the outset emphasise that I do not attempt to provide a conclusive answer to the multiplicity of problems that pertain to apologetics. After four years of study of different Greco-Roman, Jewish, and Christian apologetic compositions dating to a period covering almost a millennium and originating in geographical set- tings that embrace a wide area of the past Mediterranean world, I recognise the elusive nature of the topic. As soon as one begins to think that one has firm grip on apologetics, the issue opens itself to new forms, and appears under new guises. The Protean nature of apologetics both as a scholarly category and as an ancient indig- enous classification notwithstanding, 1 believe that the members of "The article is a summary of some of the more theoretical work that I have been conducting in connection with the research area on Apologetics and Criticism. Pagans, Christians and Jews in Antiquity situated at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Aarhus during the period 2002-2006. Most of this work is available in Danish only. I expect, however, to revise and refine some of my publications on the topic and publish them in English in...

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