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  • Print publication year: 1967
  • Online publication date: March 2008

Chapter 9 - The beginning of Christian philosophy: Justin: the Gnostics

from Part II - PHILO AND THE BEGINNINGS OF CHRISTIAN THOUGHT
Summary
The origins of Christian philosophy are more than a matter of discovering passing echoes of Greek ideas within the New Testament writings, such as the Platonic and Philonic overtones of the Epistle to the Hebrews. The first serious beginnings of Christian philosophy appear in Justin Martyr in the middle years of the second century. Justin explains his positive appreciation of Greek philosophy partly by the conventional thesis that the Greek philosophers had studied the Old Testament, but chiefly by his doctrine of the divine Logos. Justin's basic presupposition is a highly optimistic confidence in human reasoning. The truth underlying the charge is simply that some of the basic propositions of the Gnostics came from their pessimistic view of Platonism. The man who developed at once a positive view of philosophy and a negative critique of Gnosticism was Clement of Alexandria.
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The Cambridge History of Later Greek and Early Medieval Philosophy
  • Online ISBN: 9781139055147
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521040549
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