1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Early Christian Philosophy

Edited By Mark Edwards Copyright 2021
    670 Pages
    by Routledge

    670 Pages
    by Routledge

    This volume offers the most comprehensive survey available of the philosophical background to the works of early Christian writers and the development of early Christian doctrine.

    It examines how the same philosophical questions were approached by Christian and pagan thinkers; the philosophical element in Christian doctrines; the interaction of particular philosophies with Christian thought; and the constructive use of existing philosophies by all Christian thinkers of late antiquity. While most studies of ancient Christian writers and the development of early Christian doctrine make some reference to the philosophic background, this is often of an anecdotal character, and does not enable the reader to determine whether the likenesses are deep or superficial, or how pervasively one particular philosopher may have influenced Christian thought. This volume is designed to provide not only a body of facts more compendious than can be found elsewhere, but the contextual information which will enable readers to judge or clarify the statements that they encounter in works of more limited scope.

    With contributions by an international group of experts in both philosophy and Christian thought, this is an invaluable resource for scholars of early Christianity, Late Antiquity and ancient philosophy alike.

      1. Introduction. Mark Edwards

      Section 1: Themes

      2. Sources of Divine Knowledge

      Peter Van Nuffelen

      3. Nature

      Johannes Zachhuber

      4. Time and Eternity

      Ilaria Ramelli.

      5. Creation in Early Christianity

      George Karamanolis

      6. Providence and Evil

      Dylan Burns

      7. Logic and Religious Language

      Anna Zhyrkova

      8. Ethics

      Teresa Morgan

      9. The Mystical Element

      Andrew Louth

      Section 2: Doctrines

      10. The Trinity

      Giulio Maspero

      11. The Philosophy of the Incarnation

      Dirk Krausmüller

      12. The Philosophy of the Resurrection in Early Christianity

      Sophie Cartwright

      13. Biblical Hermeneutics

      Scot Douglass

      Section 3. Schools

      14. The Presocratics

      David Litwa

      15. Socrates and Plato

      Joseph O’Leary

      16. Aristotle and his School

      Mark Edwards

      17. Stoics and Christians

      Mark Edwards

      18. Epicureans

      Mark Edwards

      19. Cynics and Christians

      Mark Reasoner

      20. Sceptics

      Mark Edwards

      21. Philo of Alexandria

      Mark Edwards

      22. Orpheus, Mithras, Hermes

      Fabienne Jourdan and Mark Edwards

      23. Middle Platonists and Pythagoreans

      Carl Sean O’Brien

      24. Pagan and Christian Philosophy: Plotinus, Iamblichus and Christian Philosophical Practice

      Kevin Corrigan

      25. The Philosophy of the Later Neoplatonists: An Interaction with Christian Thought

      Sarah Klitenic Wear

      Section 4. Individuals

      26. Justin and Athenagoras

      Runar Thorsteinsson

      27. Tatian, Theophilus and Irenaeus of Lyon

      Josef Lössl

      28. Clement of Alexandria

      Matyáš Havrda

      29. Tertullian and Cyprian

      Allen Brent

      30. "Hippolytus" and Epiphanius of Salamis

      Sébastien Morlet

      31. Origen and Philosophy

      Panayiotis Tzamalikos

      32. The Sethians and the Gnostics of Plotinus

      Tuomas Rasimus

      33. Arnobius and Lactantius

      Kristina Meinking

      34. Philosophy in Eusebius and Marcellus

      Aaron Johnson

      35. Arius and Athanasius

      Winrich Löhr

      36. Marius Victorinus

      Chiara Tommasi

      37. Philosophy in Hilary of Poitiers and Ambrose of Milan

      Isabella Image

      38. Eunomius of Cyzicus and Gregory of Nyssa

      Andrew Radde-Gallwitz

      39. Didymus the Blind and Evagrius of Pontus

      Mark Edwards

      40. Synesius of Cyrene: Philosophy and Poetry "Sharing the same Temple"

      Irini Fotini-Viltanioti

      41. Augustine of Hippo

      John Kenney

      42. Cyril of Alexandria

      Christoph Riedweg

      42. Theodoret of Cyrrhus

      Mark Edwards

      43. Boethius: The First Christian Philosopher in the Latin West?

      Thomas Jurgasch

      44. John Philoponus

      Orna Harari

      45. Dionysius the Areopagite

      Mark Edwards

      46. Christian Philosophynin Severus of Antioch and Leontius of Byzantium

      Benjamin Gleede


      Mark Edwards has been Tutor in Theology at Christ Church, Oxford, and University Lecturer/Associate Professor in Patristics in the Faculty of Theology and Religion in the University of Oxford since 1993. Since 2014, he has held the title of Professor of Early Christian Studies. His books include Origen against Plato (2002), Catholicity and Heresy in the Early Church (2009), Image, Word and God in the Early Christian Centuries (2012), Religions of the Constantinian Empire (2015), and Aristotle and Early Christian Thought (2019).

      "For a modern intellectual culture that distrusts trust and prefers analysis to exegesis, the very notion of early Christian philosophy is apt to be an uncomfortable stretch. But Mark Edwards and company do not retreat to the safe, if vacuous, conjunction: early Christianity and philosophy, as if one were a prosthesis for the other. This volume’s concise forays into a still surprisingly unfamiliar intellectual landscape bring ancient philosophy into the heart of early Christian exegesis. The introduction by Edwards brilliantly articulates the stakes of following along." - James Wetzel, Villanova University, USA

      "This well-conceived collection of studies makes a powerful case that ancient Christians took philosophy seriously and historians of ancient philosophy need to take Christians seriously." – George Boys-Stones, University of Toronto, Canada

      "The Routledge Handbook of Early Christian Philosophy is a much welcome tool for students and researchers alike. Thanks to the excellent work of an international scholarly team of the highest calibre, the volume rightly moves away from the simplistic dualism of 'reason versus faith' that still hinders a sophisticated understanding of Early Christianity’s complex ties to pagan philosophy, and it showcases, in a truly comprehensive fashion, their substantial areas of intersection in the first centuries of our era. The contributors demonstrate that the Christians’ engagement with the tools, tropes, and themes of pagan philosophy was not just considerably more constructive and dynamic than is often recognized, but that this very engagement was also a necessary enterprise for Christians." - Alberto Rigolio, University of Durham, UK

      "This handbook is an important contribution to scholarship on early Christian thought. But that is only half its contribution. It is in equal measure a formidable argument for situating what is usually called ‘early Christian theology’ within the larger domain of ‘ancient philosophy’, most broadly conceived... Edwards is to be commended for bringing together such a substantial collection (in both size and importance) and for producing an edited handbook that sustains a particular (and much needed) thesis about Christianity and ancient philosophy across the whole of the volume." - The Classical Review