The Rise of Christian Theology and the End of Ancient Metaphysics: Patristic Philosophy from the Cappadocian Fathers to John of Damascus
Stock No: WW859950
The Rise of Christian Theology and the End of Ancient Metaphysics: Patristic Philosophy from the Cappadocian Fathers to John of Damascus  -     By: Johannes Zachhuber

The Rise of Christian Theology and the End of Ancient Metaphysics: Patristic Philosophy from the Cappadocian Fathers to John of Damascus

Oxford University Press / 2020 / Hardcover

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It has rarely been recognized that the Christian writers of the first millennium pursued an ambitious and exciting philosophical project alongside their engagement in the doctrinal controversies of their age. The Rise of Christian Theology and the End of Ancient Metaphysics offers, for the first time, a full analysis of this Patristic philosophy. It shows how it took its distinctive shape in the late fourth century and gives an account of its subsequent development until the time of John of Damascus.

The book falls into three main parts. The first starts with an analysis of the philosophical project underlying the teaching of the Cappadocian fathers, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory of Nazianzus. This philosophy, arguably the first distinctively Christian theory of being, soon became near-universally shared in Eastern Christianity. Just a few decades after the Cappadocians, all sides in the early Christological controversy took its fundamental tenets for granted. Its application to the Christological problem thus appeared inevitable. Yet it created substantial conceptual problems.

Parts two and three describe in detail how these problems led to a series of increasingly radical modifications of the Cappadocian philosophy. In part two, Zachhuber explores the miaphysite opponents of the Council of Chalcedon, while in part three he discusses the defenders of the Council from the early sixth to the eighth century. Through this overview, the book reveals this period as one of remarkable philosophical creativity, fecundity, and innovation.

Product Information

Title: The Rise of Christian Theology and the End of Ancient Metaphysics: Patristic Philosophy from the Cappadocian Fathers to John of Damascus
By: Johannes Zachhuber
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2020
Weight: 1 pound 8 ounces
ISBN: 0198859953
ISBN-13: 9780198859956
Stock No: WW859950

Author Bio


Johannes Zachhuber, Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology, University of Oxford

Johannes Zachhuber is Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford. He studied theology in Rostock, Berlin, and Oxford where he earned his DPhil in 1997. He has published Human Nature in Gregory of Nyssa (Brill 1999) and Theology as Science in Nineteenth-Century Germany (OUP 2013) as well as numerous articles mostly in the areas of late ancient Christianity and nineteenth-century theology.

Editorial Reviews


"This intellectual tour de force is necessary reading for patristic scholars and will be of great interest to historians of late antique and medieval thought generally" -- ANDREW RADDE-GALLWITZ, The Thomist


"It is essential reading for anyone interested in the development of Christological doc-trine in the years between Chalcedon and John of Damascus" -- Richard Cross, ThLZ


"A deeply philosophical book will be of enduring significance for historians of philosophy and theologians alike as well as scholars interested in the historical period from the perspectives of classical studies and ancient history" -- ANNA MARMODORO, The Classical Review


"The significance of Zachhuber's book cannot be overstated." -- J Warren Smith, Modern Theology


"This astonishing book reconstructs in unprecedented detail the distinctive ontological systems of a host of Greek and Syriac patristic thinkers from Basil of Caesarea down to John of Damascus." -- JOSEPH S. O'LEARY, The Journal of Theological Studies


"Zachhuber's brief history of Christian philosophy in the Greek-speaking world from the fourth to the eighth century convincingly shows that the later so-called mysteries of the Trinity and the Incarnation can be explained by means of natural reason, that is, against the background of ancient, especially Aristotelian and Stoic philosophy. This leads to the discovery or rediscovery of almost forgotten authors within the tradition of "Christian philosophy." The introduction afforded in this book, from Cappadocian philosophy to the philosophy of the individual, is of utmost relevance to the history of philosophy and to philosophy itself." -- Theo Kobusch, Journal of Ancient Christianity [translated]


"Z. has a penetrating eye for the subtleties of theological metaphysics, yet he is also admirably charitable to the writers he treats and capable of judiciously identifying both their strengths and their weaknesses ... This bookwill be of interest to students of patristic theology as well as to systematic theologians, given the fascination with Chalcedon in contemporary Christology." -- Nathan Porter, Vigiliae Christianae


"The significance of Zachhuber's book cannot be overstated ... this provocative book brings to the surface old battles [...] while at the same time inaugurating a new phase in Gregorian scholarship." -- J. Warren Smith, Duke University, Modern Theology


"Z.'s deeply philosophical book will be of enduring significance for historians of philosophy and theologians alike as well as scholars interested in the historical period from the perspectives of classical studies and ancient history." -- Anna Marmodoro, The Classical Review


"Zachhuber's work is a significant contribution to our understanding of the development of patristic thought. It lays a foundation for the study of its influence in Western and Eastern Christendom and beyond." -- James Rutherford, Moore Theological College, Newtown, Australia, Themelios


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