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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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Apologetics and Orthodoxy 209


Apologetics and Orthodoxy Jörg Ulrich The subject I am going to deal with arose from considerations of the planning committee of this conference. It sprang from the idea that we ought to look back to the proceedings of our scholarly project an apologetics in the last years, and should look ahead as well to what will be our subject in the coming next years, namely norms, normativity, and orthodoxy. Apologetics and orthodoxy: what do these two phenomena have to do with each other, and how could they possibly be related? First of all, it is clear that both subjects are key issues in any reli- gion and in any theology. Both - apologetics and orthodoxy - belong to the traditional canon of subjects in ancient history as well in early church history. Most of the early Christian sources that have come down to us deal either with matters of apologetics or with matters of heresy and orthodoxy, regardless of whether viewed broadly or narrowly. Aspects of both apologetics and orthodoxy attract aca- demic attention, and have done so since the nineteenth century,1 ' For orthodoxy (and heresy) see A. Hilgenfeld, Die Ketzergeschichte des Urchristen- tums. Urkundlich dargestellt, Leipzig 1884; W. Bauer, Rechtgläubigkeit und Ketzerei im ältesten Christentum, Tübingen 1934. 21964 (=BHTh 10); R.A. Kraft, The Development of the Concept of "Orthodoxy" in Early Christianity, in: FS M.C. Tenney, Grand Ra- pids 1975, 47-59; N. Brox, Häresie, in: RAC 13 (1984), 248-297; for apologetics see G....

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