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The historian of western culture cannot travel far without discovering that the roots of many twentieth-century questions lie in the ancient dialogue between the early Christians and the culture of the old classical world. This book takes three Christian thinkers: Justin, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen, and shows what the debate looked like from the Christian side. It draws in the pagan critics of the church to illustrate the case the Christians had to answer. The examination of the Christian synthesis illustrates the extent to which penetrating criticism of the classical tradition was combined with a profound acceptance of its humanism. When it was first published, the Journal of Theological Studies praised it for "the skillful characterizations and brilliant exposition which one finds everywhere.'
This enlightening study examines the relationship of the early Christians to the classical tradition. Based on the work of the Christian thinkers, Justine, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen, and existing pagan criticism of the Church, the book illustrates how rejection of the classical tradition combined with profound acceptance of its humanism were synthesized by the early Church.