Early Christian Apologists
Part I: Introduction
Apologists and apologetics in the second century Jörg Ulrich Contents 1. The most important factors giving rise to early Christian apologetics 1.1. Christianity‘s claim of absoluteness 1.2. Perceptions of early Christians within Roman society 1.3. The legal status of Christians in the pre-Constantine Roman Empire 2. The beginnings and conditions of early Christian apologetics 2.1. The concepts of apologetics and apology 2.2. The pagan and Jewish roots of early Christian apologetics 2.3. The first traces of early Christian apologetics 3. Apologists and apologetics in the second century 4. The themes and forms of argument of early Christian apologetics 4.1. The specific charges and the attempt to repudiate them 4.2. The positive proofs for the truth of Christianity in the confrontation with pagans 4.3. The positive proofs for the truth of Christianity in the confrontation with Jews 4.4. Polemic trends in early Christian apologetics 4.4.1. Anti-pagan polemic 4.4.2. Anti-Jewish polemic 4.5. Early Christian apologetics and contemporary pagan philosophy and religion 5. Early Christian apologetics in history and in the present 1. The most important factors giving rise to early Christian apologetics Three different factors should be mentioned with regard to the rise of early Christian apologetics1. From the beginning, throughout the second centu- 1 Key sources in the literature: M. Fiedrowicz, Apologie im frühesten Christentum. Die Kontroverse um den christlichen Wahrheitsanspruch in den ersten Jahrhunderten, Paderborn 22001; G. Bardy, Apologetik, in: RAC 1 (1950), 533‒543; L.W. Barnard, Apologetik I. Alte Kirche, in: TRE 3 (1978), 371‒411;...