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The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual

Edited by: Lewis Ayres and H. Clifton Ward

The study of the growth of early Christian intellectual life is of perennial interest to scholars. This volume advances discussion by exploring ways in which Christian writers in the second century did not so much draw on Hellenistic intellectual traditions and models, as they were inevitably embedded in those traditions.

The volume contains papers from a seminar in Rome in 2016 that explored the nature and activity of the emergent Christian intellectual between the late first century and the early third century. The papers show that Hellenistic scholarly cultures were the milieu within which Christian modes of thinking developed. At the same time the essays show how Christian thinkers made use of the cultures of which they were part in distinctive ways, adapting existing traditions because of Christian beliefs and needs.

The figures studied include Papias from the early part of the second-century, Tatian, Irenaeus, and Clement of Alexandria from the later second century. One paper on Eusebius of Caesarea explores the Christian adaptation of Hellenistic scholarly methods of commentary. Christian figures are studied in the light of debates within Classics and Jewish studies.

Author Information

Lewis Ayres, Durham University, UK and H. Clifton Ward, Milligan College, Johnson City, TN, USA.

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Audience: Scholars and students in Early Christian studies, Classics, historical theology and theology.