Thursday, 30 June 2011

Blandine Colot - Lactantius and the philosophy of Cicero: "Romideologie" and legitimization of Christianity

Given the pragmatic nature of apologetic discourse, I focus on the fact that the Divine Institutions was devised during the last persecution and on the eve of the legal recognition of Christianity in the Roman Empire. The question of justice is at heart of the religious debate that Lactantius leads with his contemporaries, and this is an opportunity for him to refer to and to enter into dialogue with Cicero and his thoughts on Rome and the Natural Law. Given that rhetoric betrays the positions of individuals in a social game which itself takes place in history, this fiction attests that the "philosophical-religious ideology" theorized by the Roman philosopher was a living part of the belief of the cultivated pagan with whom the apologist dialogued. It is in relation to this philosophical-religious ideology that he conceived the new legitimacy of Christianity in Rome.

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