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date: 07 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Although frequently treated as a separate phenomenon in the Roman Mediterranean, the literary work produced by Christian intellectuals (especially Justin Martyr, Athenagoras, Tatian, and Theophilus) in the first centuries of our era is best appreciated within the literary, philosophical, and performative contexts of the Second Sophistic. Their adoption of a stance of free speech toward those in power was formulated as an extension of philosophical modes of self-presentation. Furthermore, the Christian explorations of middle Platonist notions of the Demiurge’s possession or use of logos coalesced with their impulse to quote and further proliferate logoi as part of Christian intellectual and textual culture. Of great importance was likewise the concern of many Christian apologists to combat the Hellenocentric assumptions of their day and to begin producing world chronological investigations that sought to remove the Greek identity from its position of cultural superiority.

Keywords: Athenagoras, Christian apologetics, Hellenocentrism, Justin Martyr, Logos, Plato/Platonism, quotation, Socrates, Tatian, Theophilus

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