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In Defence of Christianity

Early Christian Apologists


Jakob Engberg, Anders-Christian Jacobsen and Jörg Ulrich

In Defence of Christianity examines the early Christian apologists in their context in thirteen articles divided in four parts. Part I provides an introduction to apology and apologetics in antiquity, an overview of the early Christian apologists, and an outline of their argumentation. The nine articles of Part II each cover one of the early apologists: Aristides, Justin, Tatian, Athenagoras, Theophilus, the author of the Letter to Diognetus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian and Minucius Felix. Part III contextualises the apologists by providing an English translation of contemporary pagan criticism of Christianity and by discussing this critique. Part IV consists of a single article discussing how Eusebius depicted and used the apologists in his Ecclesiastical History.
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Justin Martyr


Jörg Ulrich

1. Introduction to Justin Martyr

From a modern perspective, Justin would have to be the most important second century apologist. Given the survival of his two apologies (1 apol., 2 apol.) and his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, a relatively comprehensive portion of his works have been preserved. Several aspects of his thought have had an influence on theological debate in later times. We know more about his life than many other second century figures. Justin‘s surviving works make it possible to reliably reconstruct his thought and teachings.

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