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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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Nullus quippe credit aliquid, nisi prius cogitaverit essecredendum: Augustine as Apologist 303


Nullus quippe credit aliquid, nisi prius cogitaverit esse credendum:1 Augustine as Apologist Karla Pollmarm2 It is what we are all inclined to do, To direct our enquiry not by the matter itself, But by the views of our opponents. (Aristotle, De caelo 294 B 5) 'Aug., praed. 2.5: "No one believes something unless he or she has first thought of it as something that ought to be believed", as a locus classicus for apologetics leading to faith, cf. E. TeSelle, Augustine's Strategy as an Apologist, Villanova 1974, 43. This has to be separated from inner-Christian, pastoral arguments, which seem to say the opposite, like Aug., Eu. Io. 29.6 Intellectus eninz merces est fidei. Ergo noli quaerere intelligere ut credas, sed crede ut intelligas; quoniam nisi credideritis, non intel- ligetis [Jes 7:9 LXX] ("For understanding is the reward of faith. Thus, do not seek to understand in order to believe, but believe in order to understand; for if you do not believe, you will not understand"); for the different versions of Jes 7:9 and the history of their exegesis see W. Geerlings, Jes 7,9b bei Augustinus. Die Geschichte eines fruchtbaren Mißverständnisses, in: WiWei 50 (1987), 5-12. 2 This paper was revised for publication during the summer of 2007 when I was Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Theology at Aarhus University. I am most gra- teful for the feedback I received on this paper, especially from Leonid Zhmud (St. Petersburg) and Stephen Lake (Konstanz). A...

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