Christian Philosophy

Hubertus R. Drobner

in The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780199271566
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Christian Philosophy

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Having reached its fully developed form in Plato and Aristotle, Greek philosophy formed influential schools, such as Stoicism, Middle Platonism, and Neoplatonism, which were to have a major impact on Christianity. When Rome eventually incorporated Greece into its Empire in the second century BCE, Greek language and thought began to pervade the whole Mediterranean culture. When Christ was born, this ‘Hellenism’ had shaped a new composite Graeco-Roman culture. However, all studies of Christian philosophy come down to the original question asked at the beginning: What does the juxtaposition of the adjective ‘Christian’ to the noun ‘philosophy’ mean? This article argues that in the same way that philosophy formed the understanding of the Christian faith, faith changed and moulded philosophy. Still, the basic questions of ‘Christian philosophy’ remain: What did Christians accept from philosophy, and how did this change Christianity?

Keywords: Christian philosophy; Christianity; Hellenism; Greek philosophy; Plato; Aristotle

Article.  8293 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Philosophy of Religion ; Christianity

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