The Greek philosopher Porphyry of Tyre had a reputation as the fiercest critic of Christianity. It was well-deserved: he composed (at the end the 3rd century A.D.) fifteen discourses against the Christians, so offensive that Christian emperors ordered them to be burnt. We thus rely on the testimonies of three prominent Christian writers to know what Porphyry wrote. Scholars have long thought that we could rely on those testimonies to know Porphyry's ideas. Exploring early religious debates which still resonate today, Porphyry in Fragments argues instead that Porphyry's actual thoughts became mixed with the thoughts of the Christians who preserved his ideas, as well as those of other Christian opponents.
'[Magny’s] work illuminates the use Christian writers made of Porphyry and is a stimulating and fruitful study.' Bryn Mawr Classical Review
Contents: Foreword, Gillian Clark; Preface; Introduction; New methods; Eusebius; Jerome; Augustine’s letter 102; Augustine’s On the Harmony of the Gospels; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.
The Studies in Philosophy and Theology in Late Antiquity series focuses on major theologians, not as representatives of a 'tradition', whether Christian or classical, but as individuals immersed in the intellectual culture of their day. Each book concentrates on the arguments, not merely the opinions, of a single Christian writer or group of writers from the period A.D 100-600 and compares and contrasts these arguments with those of pagan contemporaries who addressed similar questions.
By study of political, social, and cultural milieu, contributors to the series show what external factos led to the convergence or divergence of Christianity and pagan thought in particular localities or periods. Pagan and Christian teachings are set out in a clear and systematic form, making it possible to bring to light the true originality of the author's thought and to estimate the value of his work for modern times.
This high profile research series offers an important contribution to areas of contemporary research in the patristic period, as well as providing new links into later periods, particularly the Medieval and Reformation.