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A Threat to Public Piety: Christians, Platonists, and the - download pdf or read online

By Elizabeth DePalma Digeser

ISBN-10: 0801441811

ISBN-13: 9780801441813

In A risk to Public Piety, Elizabeth DePalma Digeser reexamines the origins of the good Persecution (AD 303–313), the final eruption of pagan violence opposed to Christians sooner than Constantine enforced the toleration of Christianity in the Empire. tough the generally accredited view that the persecution enacted via Emperor Diocletian used to be mostly inevitable, she issues out that during the 40 years major as much as the good Persecution Christians lived principally in peace with their fellow Roman electorate. Why, Digeser asks, did pagans and Christians, who had intermingled cordially and productively for many years, develop into so sharply divided via the flip of the century?

Making use of facts that has only in the near past been dated to this era, Digeser exhibits falling out among Neo-Platonist philosophers, particularly Iamblichus and Porphyry, lit the spark that fueled the good Persecution. within the aftermath of this falling out, a gaggle of influential pagan monks and philosophers begun writing and conversing opposed to Christians, urging them to forsake Jesus-worship and to rejoin conventional cults whereas Porphyry used his entry to Diocletian to suggest persecution of Christians because they have been a resource of impurity and impiety in the empire.

The first ebook to discover intensive the highbrow social milieu of the past due 3rd century, A possibility to Public Piety revises our knowing of the interval by means of revealing the level to which Platonist philosophers (Ammonius, Plotinus, Porphyry, and Iamblichus) and Christian theologians (Origen, Eusebius) got here from a typical academic culture, usually learning and educating aspect by way of facet in heterogeneous groups.
 

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Extra resources for A Threat to Public Piety: Christians, Platonists, and the Great Persecution

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Dan. , ap. Hieron. 9). 57. I avoid the term “allegorical exegesis,” because it connotes a narrative element often lacking in these interpretations. See Blossom Stefaniw, Mind, Text, and Commentary: Noetic Exegesis in Origen of Alexandria, Didymus the Blind, and Evagrius Ponticus (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2010). 58. Taking Porphyry’s Cave of the Nymphs as an example: the section on bees (7) required a knowledge of natural philosophy, and the evaluation of the cave necessitated geographical information (9–10).

The richest sources for Ammonius were the texts of Plato. All the same, he also believed that Plato’s teachings had been corrupted by his later followers. This assumption allowed Ammonius to embrace other sources, particularly Aristotle, whose treatises he used to broaden his understanding of what Plato might have taught beyond what he had actually written down. Ammonius, who came from a Christian family, also evaluated Hebrew and Christian sources in building his philosophy without conflicts: two tracts attributed to him evince an interest in Jesus’ life and message, both as presented in the Gospels and as compared to Moses’ teachings.

Cod. 251, 461a24–39. 26. See David T. Runia, “Festugière Revisited: Aristotle in the Greek Patres,” Vigiliae Christianae 43, no. 1 (1989): 7, lists and discusses the passages where Origen draws explicitly on Aristotle. A m m o n i u s Sa cc a s 31 Porphyry’s testimony, therefore, rules out the chance that Origen the Christian theologian studied with an Ammonius other than Plotinus’s mentor. Establishing that Origen the Christian theologian studied with the great philosopher Ammonius, however, still does not eliminate the possibility that Eusebius mistakenly attributed the works of a Christian Ammonius to the Alexandrian philosopher, an argument seemingly bolstered by Longinus’s categorizing him among philosophers who did not write.

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A Threat to Public Piety: Christians, Platonists, and the Great Persecution by Elizabeth DePalma Digeser


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