Sunday, 3 May 2015

Ingo Schaaf: The earliest Sibylline attestations in the patristic reception: erudition and religion in the 2nd century AD

It is a well known fact, that early christian apologists were ready to use pagan authorities, Sibyls and oracular texts ascribed to them in particular, in order to defend the truth claims of their own faith against intellectual attacks effectively. What is less studied, is in how far this observation might correspond to an at least implicit programm of inculturation, which was only made possible through critical interaction with the traditional elites, above all before the background of shared learning and reading. In which way early christian authors sought to inscribe themselves into the religious discourse system of the Roman Empire can be discussed exemplarily with regard to the intellectual milieu of the 2nd century by analyzing select patristic passages on the figure of the Sibyl(s) and Sibylline texts from that period.

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