Celsus: A Platonist Attack

Henry Chadwick

in The Church in Ancient Society

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780199246953
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600463 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church

 Celsus: A Platonist Attack

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The behaviour of Christian martyrs persecuted from the time of Nero onwards drew great attention to the Church. Celsus, a Greek contemporary of Irenaeus, whose philosophical ideas were those of an eclectic Platonist, wrote a series of critical studies that would provoke a reply from Origen. He was offended by Christian scorn for polytheism, and drew attention to theological disputes within the Church, seeing disunity resulting from growth in numbers. Celsus was alarmed by the success of Christian missions undermining cultural tradition and by the mutual toleration of polytheistic cults being replaced by a religion of fierce internal disputes.

Keywords: Celsus; paganism

Chapter.  1857 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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