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By Jörg Ulrich, David Brakke, Anders-Christian Jacobsen

This ebook includes thirteen contributions from a global convention held in 2007. the assumption of the convention was once to enquire the confrontations and the cultural, philosophical and spiritual trade among diversified spiritual teams in antiquity and to set up a extra complete thought approximately what apologetics used to be thought of to be either within the context of antiquity and from the viewpoint of contemporary scholarship: is it attainable to outline a literary style known as apologetics? Is it attainable to discuss apologetics as a undeniable form of discourse which isn't restricted to a distinct form of texts? Which argumentative ideas are implied in apologetic discourses? The essays during this quantity current a brand new method of those questions.

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In this manner, we may speak of compositions that use apologetic strategies. At the same time, it is obvious that the category cannot be confined to the externally directed defence against charges or criticism raised by the outside world. It is also part of a seif-persuasion. In order to be troubled by doubts caused by external charges or criticism one must - to some degree be tarred by the same brush. In fact, apologetics may reasonably be stretched to designate an intrinsic element in the continual forging of Fredouille, 1992, 234: "Pour autant, l'absence de denomination generique n'empeche pas un genre d'exister, de se developer, de s'adapter (Aprs tout, nous l'avons dit, le roman antique a connu les meines diffcultes d'identification).

It is obvious to distinguish between apologetics as a mode of writing, a kind or historical genre, and a sub-genre, and to assume that an ancient culturally educated audience was - if not necessarily aware of the finer nuances between the different gradations pertaining to each of these categories then at least able to acknowledge particular writings and / or passages of writings as belonging to the general category of apologetics. It may also be that some of the compositions that we subsequent to Eusebius categorise as apologies, were not, in fact, acknowledged as such by their authors.

At the end of the account, the celebration of the martyr's death acknowledges the continuing lives of those who will not join the martyr in any act of resistance (Mart. Polyc. e. 1,49), others necessarily there because there were those able to teil the story even if their presence is never acknowledged or explained. 25 Moreover, the epistolary format of the two earliest accounts, the Martyrdom of Polycarp and the Letter of the Churches of Lyons and Vienne, explicitly acknowledges that such violence is after all not the norm and that it requires that some explanation be given to other communities living not so very far distant.

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