Publication details

Omnibus Omnia : The Reception of Socrates in Ante-Nicene Christian Literature



Year of publication 2016
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Graeco-Latina Brunensia
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Web Digitální knihovna FF
Field Philosophy and religion
Keywords Socrates; reception; early Christian literature; epistemic justification; apologetics; miracles; morality; divine inspiration
Description The figure of Socrates features prominently in the works of earliest Christian authors and their attempts to negotiate a viable relation between pagan intellectual tradition and the exigencies of a newly founded religion. The analysis of all relevant ante-Nicene Greek and Latin texts shows that early Christian writers reconstruct “Socrates” with a striking degree of interpretative freedom. Although it is impossible to establish a unified perspective on Socrates in these texts – let alone a positive one, as many previous commentators thought –, the interpretations of the Athenian sage are not entirely haphazard. I argue that they are heavily constrained by apologetic aims of early Christian authors and closely connected to epistemic justification of faith by means of miracles, superior moral behaviour, divine inspiration and prophecy, and, finally, the emphasis that is placed on the limitations of human, all too human, wisdom.
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