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If you prefer to suggest your own revision of the article, you can go to edit mode requires login. The notion of theology as the study or contemplation theoria of the highest form of reality became commonplace in the Hellenistic philosophy of the Roman world in which Christianity emerged. In that world, the quest for God acquired for many people—including both Christians and non-Christians—a certain urgency, in part because of the recognized inadequacy of the traditional pagan religions and the social and political turmoil of the era. Accordingly, philosophical speculation about the ultimate nature of reality assumed a distinctly religious cast.
The understanding of theology as the fruit of sustained ascetic struggle, as the highest exercise of the human mind, and as prayer quickly established itself in Greek Christianity, and this interpretation is still fundamental in Eastern Orthodox theology. Alongside this sense of theology, Christians also understood the word theologia to mean the study of the divine, or the unraveling of the nature of the divine as revealed in the Bible.
Because God is known only through his self-manifestation in the created order, however, the distinction between theologia and oikonomia is easily blurred. Nevertheless, it remains fundamental in Greek theology. The development of Christian theology was decisively influenced by an unknown writer of the early 6th century whose works circulated under the name of Dionysius the Areopagite , the Athenian disciple of St. Paul the Apostle the writer is therefore often called Pseudo-Dionysius. In the writings of Pseudo-Dionysius, God is depicted as revealing himself to the created order through hierarchies of angels and through the hierarchy of the church.
Pseudo-Dionysius also introduced a number of distinctions about the nature of theology that were destined to be of profound influence. His short treatise The Mystical Theology discusses affirmative and negative kataphatic and apophatic theologies, symbolic theology, and mystical theology.
Pseudo-Dionysius borrowed the kataphatic-apophatic distinction from the great 5th-century Neoplatonist philosopher Proclus : whereas a kataphatic theology affirms what God has revealed of himself in creation and revelation , an apophatic theology negates everything ascribed to God because human concepts and images are inadequate to describe his reality. Mystical, or hidden, theology seems to be the experience of the divine reality to which apophatic theology points—the equivalent of theologia in the sense in which Evagrius Ponticus used the term.
This identification was made explicit by the 11th-century Byzantine theologian Nicetas Stethatos. With the development in Western theology of increasingly sharp distinctions between nature and grace , the natural and the supernatural, and reason and revelation, theologians became interested in what truths about God could be established by reason alone. Called natural theology theologia naturalis , as opposed to revealed theology theologia revelata , this discipline became particularly important in arguments between Christians on the one hand and Jews and Muslims on the other, because the arguments of natural theology did not depend on the acceptance of revelation.
The systematic presentations that characterized Western theology in the 13th century the age of the Schoolmen, or Scholastics were often prefaced by an account of what could be established by reason about God; usually the first thing to be established was his existence. The most famous set of such arguments is the so-called Five Ways of St. Aquinas claimed to have established the existence of God as the unmoved mover, as the ultimate efficient cause, as the necessary being, as the perfect being, and as the final cause of all beings.
This distinction helped sharpen the division between what is necessarily so, which could be explored by reason, and what God has revealed about himself and his relations with humankind. The contrast between reason and revelation was reflected in the continued development of natural theology and revealed theology. Mystical theology came to be identified with the experience of God and with contemplation of the divine. During the Renaissance , medieval theology suffered further fragmentation, but theologians also acquired new conceptual tools. The late-medieval conception of Christianity had emphasized its contingent nature, its truth being not a logical necessity but the result of the will of God.
This truth was often identified with the so-called Hermetic wisdom attributed to Hermes Trismegistos Hermes the Thrice-Greatest , the Greek name of Thoth , the Egyptian god of writing. Although Hermetic teachings were thought to be of unimaginable antiquity, in reality the writings from which they were drawn the Hermetic writings date from only the mid-1st to the late 3rd centuries.
Pristina theologia provided the starting point for many attempts by thinkers of the Renaissance to penetrate behind the faded texture of the religious systems of their day to what was thought to be some ultimate forgotten truth. Often it was studied in combination with mystical theology, which was thought to authenticate pristina theologia by providing a felt experience of the ultimate. With the turn of the 18th century, the ideas of the Renaissance came to assume a somewhat more somber hue: pristina theologia yielded to natural religion—that is, the principles of religion that can be established by reason alone e.
Natural religion was then contrasted with positive religion, or the particular religious traditions of different societies or cultures. This distinction would become axiomatic in Protestant theology during the Enlightenment and in much of the post-Enlightenment period. The Enlightenment belief in the contingent nature of revelation led scholars of the period to treat the sacred books of Christianity as historically determined rather than as witnesses to, or embodiments of, divine revelation.
In the 19th century, European colonialism led to the rediscovery, translation, and publication of a wealth of sacred writings from the indigenous cultures of Asia and Africa, which encompassed both living religions—especially Hinduism and Buddhism —and religions of antiquity, especially those of Egypt. Treatises of the Hermetic tradition and codices containing texts of the gnostics were discovered during the 19th and 20th centuries. Access to such a hitherto unimaginable richness of religious traditions led to many attempts to explore and draw connections between them, often using theological categories drawn from Christianity.
Logos | philosophy and theology | maliwahyca.cf
It also led to a revival of the Renaissance quest for some ultimate religion underlying them all, though the geographical source of such a pristina theologia was generally thought to lie much farther to the east than ancient Egypt. Christian theology itself was not unaffected by these discoveries, though it was more immediately affected by other currents, notably from the Enlightenment.
This tendency was further accelerated by the increasing academic independence of universities where theology had generally been studied. This fragmentation of theology cast into doubt the coherence of the whole enterprise. In later, nonacademic usage, the term theology came to mean a religiously coloured, or sometimes religiously informed, study of some matter.
In this sense one might speak of a theology of society, in which political and economic considerations are informed by religious principles, or of a theology of poetry, in which the play of image and allusion characteristic of poetry is drawn upon to understand religious language.
In informal usage, theology has come to convey the sense of something remotely theoretical and impractical. The wide application of the term, as well as the current fragmented state of the discipline, indicate the extent to which the classical concept of theology as the highest pursuit of the intellect has been transformed over the centuries. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind. Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is subject to our final approval.
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The two main forms of the relationship between church and state that have been predominant and decisive through the centuries and in which the structural difference between the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodoxy becomes most evident can best be explained by comparing the…. Christianity: Theological controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries. Until about , most Western Christian leaders e. The main Latin theology came primarily from such figures as Tertullian and Cyprian bishop of Carthage, — rather than from….
The creeds of the mystery religions were never worked out to the same extent that the Christian creeds were. Consequently, the sages stress the concept that the world was created for Israel's sake and exists thanks to its merit Shab. On the other hand, they put the blame for Jewish separation on idol worship, to which the Gentiles were addicted, while Jews were enjoined to keep at a distance the customs and cult associated with it.
Apologetics in the Talmud and Midrash take the form of tales, discussions, or exchanges of questions and answers between Jewish sages and Gentiles — philosophers, heretics, matrons, and Roman officials. The opponents of the Jews draw attention to contradictions in Scripture and take issue with anthropomorphic expressions found in the Bible; they censure several principles in the Jewish concept of God and express hostility to the mitzvot and laws which appear strange to them.
Prominent sages are reported to have participated in these apologetic endeavors, e. Zakkai tj, Sanh. They employ the homiletical method of reasoning derush. Sometimes, however, they did not take the exchanges seriously, and disciples are found asking, "Rabbi, you put him [your opponent] off with a straw, but what will you answer us? The appearance of a new adversary — the church, which developed and spread its influence through advocating progressive separation from the Jewish fold, inevitably introduced new problems in apologetic argumentation.
His statements are repeated by Eusebius and Epiphanius. The Jews were certain of their ground in understanding Scripture, and asserted that "in all the passages which the minim [i. Therefore, where a verse from Scripture was given a Christological interpretation by exponents of the nascent church, the Talmud supplies an opposing, distinctly anti-Christological exegesis of the continuation of the text. Until the beginning of the fourth century the concept of the Trinity was not yet fully accepted in the church. Many statements in Jewish literature recorded from the preceding period, therefore, which appear to some scholars as being directed against the opinions of the Gnostics, or even of the Persian concept of dualism, were in reality formulated against the Christian belief in the Father and Son.
Abbahu, unmistakably in reference to Christian beliefs about Jesus, said: "If someone will tell you, 'I am God,' he is a liar; 'I am the son of man,' his end is that he will regret it; that 'I am going to Heaven,' he says this but will not fulfill it" tj, Ta'an. The following homily may be directed against the Christian concept of the divinity of Jesus: "R. The election of Israel by God also became a topic for apologetics against insistent claims by the church to be the true heir to the election.
The sufferings of the Jews, the destruction of the Temple 70 c.
The same message was repeated by the Church Fathers second to third centuries in different forms Justin, Dialogus , 16; Origen, Contra Celsum , ; Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiae , In their attack on the Jews the Christians did not refrain from utilizing arguments used by pagans such as Apion Jos. The "abandonment" of the Jews by God was presented to the Jews with proofs from the Bible. The other replied: 'Fool, is it written "He hath drawn off for them"? It is written "He hath drawn off from them"; now in the case of a sister-in-law from whom the brother drew off the shoe could there be any validity in the act?
Here the image is of God drawing off the shoe, i. In response to Christian claims that the Old Testament has passed to the church and that Jews have no right to it Justin, Apologia , ; Origen, Contra Celsum , , there is an allusion by the rabbis that the Oral Law alone affirms the truth of the claims of those who uphold the Written Law: "Judah bar Solomon stated that when God said to Moses, 'Write! But God anticipated that the Gentiles would translate the Torah, read it in Greek, and say: We are Israel, and we are the children of God, and henceforth, the scales are balanced.
God said to the Gentiles: 'You say that you are My children. I only know that who possess My secret writings are My children. And what are these writings? Va-Yera 5; ibid. Ki-Tissa In explaining the actions of Jonah who had been sent to gentile Nineveh, it is stressed that he refused to go there unlike the Christian apostles ; this refusal is seen by the aggadah as a sign of His love for Israel; Jonah saw that the Gentiles were more inclined to repent "and he did not want to lay his own people open to condemnation.
Thus he behaved like the rest of the patriarchs and prophets who offered themselves on behalf of Israel" Mekh. The repentance of the Nineveh Gentiles was in reality "a feigned repentance" tj. The interpretation served as an answer to the statements of the Church Fathers who stressed that the Gentiles in the time of Jonah obeyed the prophet sent to them, just as the Gentiles in their own time answered the call of the apostles. In contrast, the Jews had refused to obey then, and refuse to do so now, and as a result they are punished Luke —30, 32; Justin, Dialogus , With the predominance of the church and humiliation of the Jews in the Middle Ages, Jewish apologetics had to assume a new character.
The religious disputations held between Christians and Jews became acrimonious.
THE LIFE AND TEACHINGS OF JESUS CHRIST
The lack of any kind of recognized Jewish statehood or sovereignty had to be explained. The Jews claimed, inter alia, that there still existed a sovereign Jewish state in the East, a claim put forward as early as Isidore of Seville, De fide catholica contra Judaeos , , para. Recognizing that Jewish sectarian movements in part drew their inspiration from Christianity and Islam several Karaite scholars, for instance, accepted the view that Jesus and Mohammed were prophets , Jewish authors felt the necessity of protecting Judaism from within by pointing out the weaknesses of these religions.
Apologetics of this type were often combined with presentation of a general philosophical system of Jewish thought.
Does Justin Trudeau apologise too much?
The latter also directed polemics against Christian philosophers in his Emunot ve-De'ot. Concerning the Trinity , Saadiah states, "When I present this refutation I do not have in mind the uneducated among them [the Christians] who profess only a crass corporeal Trinity. For I would not have my book occupy itself with answering such people, since that answer must be quite clear and the task simple.
It is rather my intention to reply to the learned who maintain that they adopted their belief in the Trinity as a result of rational speculation and subtle understanding" Emunot ve-De'ot , trans. Rosenblatt , Regarding proofs adduced by Christians in support of the concept of the Trinity from the Bible, Saadiah states: "The misinterpretation of these terms on the part of these individuals who cite them as proof of their theory, is, then, due to unfamiliarity with the Hebrew language " ibid. In the third section of the work, Saadiah rejects all the arguments adduced by Christians to show that the mitzvot and Torah had been abolished with the advent of the New Covenant.
In this work Judah Halevi sets his theory in an historical framework; the conversion of the king of Khazaria and many of his subjects to Judaism, the religion despised by the Gentiles. The Khazars adopted Judaism despite the strictness of its requirements regarding new converts. Judah Halevi elevates the values of human faith in the revealed religion and of Jewish law above those of philosophy, ultimately also opposing the latter. At the basis of his defense of Judaism, he places the history of the Jewish nation and its election by God.
The present debased condition of the Jewish people constitutes no reflection on the value of its faith "because the light of God falls only upon humble souls"; humiliation and martyrdom are considered valid signs of proximity to God by all monotheistic religions, even Christianity and Islam, at present powerful in this world. Ultimately, all nations will accept the Torah adhered to by the suffering Jewish people.
The religions in which the Gentiles believe at present are merely "a suggestion and an introduction to the anticipated Messiah" — Comparatively little Jewish apologetic literature is directed specifically against Islam. Muslims taunted Jews less than Christians about the situation implicit in exile. The Islamic conception that Judaism had simply been superseded by Mohammed's message and the law prescribed by him, lacking the element of internal contradiction, also diminished the requirement for apologetics in this sphere.
Polemical allusions to Islam appear in the piyyutim , late Midrashim e. Derogatory allusions are made to the personality of Muhammad and his actions: he is frequently described as "the madman. A detailed critique of Islam is also included in the Keshet u-Magen of Simeon b. The writer discourses on the attitude in the Koran to Judaism and criticizes the legends related there and its principles of faith and commandments; he points out contradictions found in the Koran, its ignorance of the principles of natural science and philosophical doctrine of the soul, and complains about its obscure style.
It was written to counter the arguments of an erudite Catholic priest whom the author held in high esteem, and its 12 sections include an imaginary debate between a "monotheist" and a "dissenter. The case put by the Jew is as follows:. I shall now enumerate their good works and you [i. To begin with the Ten Commandments … The Jews do not make idols…, there is no people in the world to compare with them in refraining from perjury; none keeps the Sabbath apart from the Jews.
It is known that you will not find robbery and banditry among the Jews as it is among Christians who rob people on the highways, and hang them, and sometimes put out their eyes; these things cannot be said of the Jews. The pious Jews and Jewesses… educate their children… in the study of the Torah; when they hear them utter an indecent word they punish them… Their daughters grow up in chastity, you will not see them on the streets, like the daughters of the Christians… Moreover, I tell you that when a Jew stays with a fellow Jew, whether for a day or two or for a year, his host will take no money from him for his board… Thus in every way the Jews in every land behave compassionately toward their brethren.
Simeon of Narbonne in the 13 th century defended Jewish faith, life, legal status, and economic activity. Thus he justified Jewish moneylending trans. Parma, ; Dinur, Golah, 2, pt. The biblical exegetes in northern France introduced into their commentaries defenses of Jewish law and refutations of the claims of Christians in the homiletical spirit of midrashic apologetics. Meir , Joseph b. These explanations in part were prompted by the points raised at the religious disputations. While some of the disputants on behalf of Christianity were apostates from Judaism, those who replied to the Christian arguments included converts to Judaism or their descendants.
Abraham the Proselyte from Hungary studied under Jacob b. The French apologist Joseph ben Nathan Official, a descendant of a family of apologists composed c. Its main purpose was to refute all Christological interpretations of the church. The book is a collection of such refutations of the French scholars until its own days. The book contains also a detailed criticism of the New Testament. Jewish apologists in 14 th -century Spain attempted to protect Judaism from apostates with mystic leanings. It contains a brief survey of the principles of the "true faith," which are also the principles of rationalism, and an explanation of the Jewish belief in the Messiah who would redeem Israel in the future.
At greater length, he discusses these topics in the five dialogues in his Ezer ha-Dat. Another apologetic work to counter the influence of apostates was written by Moses ha-Kohen of Tordesillas, Ezer ha-Emunah Shem Tov b. In addition to 14 chapters which include answers to all the arguments raised by Christians, he adds a further chapter specifically directed against the doctrines propounded by Abner of Burgos. One result of the mass conversions of Jews to Catholicism in Spain, which began during the persecutions of and continued for a considerable time afterward, was the appearance of sharp literary polemics between converts to Christianity and the leaders of Spanish Jewry.
Jewish apologetics then revealed outstanding literary talent and expressed new and daring ideas. A defense of Judaism is also included in his major work Or Adonai. Crescas tried to invalidate the view spread by converts, and held by rationalist Jewish apologists, that Judaism is almost identical with philosophical rationalism. Profiat Duran's refined sarcasm, his profound learning, and polished style, were so successful that some Christian apologists took the work seriously as a defense of Christianity. Duran formulates the tenets of Christianity in this epistle with biting irony, using a critical historical method.
Albo's Sefer ha-Ikkarim includes in its dogmatic formulations much apologetic argumentation on a rationalist basis. Simeon b. The defense of Judaism by the Jewish scholars in Spain influenced the apologetic literature in other countries. In Italy, where there was constant social contact between Christians and Jews, debates on religious matters were held even in the early Middle Ages.
The traditions of Jewish apologetic literature in Spain were continued by Jews in Italy in the 16 th century after the expulsion from Spain, and included many of the exiles among its proponents. The Renaissance, humanism, and the religious ferment in the Christian world also gave a new impetus to Jewish apologetic literature.
In the 16 th century Jewish apologists tended to write in languages other than Hebrew to enable their arguments to reach Christian intellectuals. In his Apologia Hebraeorum Strasbourg, , David d'Ascoli challenged the restrictive legislation of Pope Paul iv and was imprisoned for his views. Modena was probably the first Jew to attempt a historical approach to the personality of Jesus, who was according to him close to the Pharisees.
Jesus did not consider himself to be the Son of God. The main tenets of Christianity were crystallized in later centuries as a result of contacts with the pagan world and its beliefs and customs. Luzzatto's main theme is the role filled by Jews in the economy of the Venetian Republic. He tries to demonstrate that the Jews formed a desirable element of efficient and loyal merchants without other loyalties to distract them from allegiance to a principality that treated them well. Luzzatto also attempts to invest Judaism with certain Catholic attributes.
A new aspect of Jewish apologetics was opened with the beginning of the settlement in Western Europe of Marranos who had left Spain and Portugal because of the pressure of the Inquisition, and their own unsettled religious views, but had not yet found their way to normative Judaism. Jewish scholars of Marrano origin now began propaganda among them to convince them of the truth of Judaism and the moral excellence of the Jews.
Among these were, for example, the physician Elijah Montalto in a series of letters addressed to an acquaintance published in rej, 87 , — In the manner of the Jewish apologetic literature in Italy, there was also literature of this genre among the ex-Marrano Sephardi community in Holland. The most important Dutch-Jewish apologetic work was produced during his mission to England by Manasseh Ben Israel, whose Vindiciae Judaeorum was published in London in Also emphasized are the material advantages likely to accrue by accepting the Jews into a state: "Hence it may be seen that God has not abandoned us; for if one persecutes us, another receives us civilly and courteously; and if this prince treats us ill, another treats us well; if one banishes us out of his country, another invites us by a thousand privileges, as various princes of Italy have done, and the mighty duke of Savoy in Nice.
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And do we not see that those republics which admit the Israelites flourish and much increase in trade? Common to all apologetic compositions of this type are their efforts to achieve the amelioration of the present Jewish status by clarifying the essentials of the Jewish faith and explaining the way of life and character of the Jewish people.
In Poland and Germany Jewish apologetics developed along different lines. The work made a profound impact and brought forth responsa by the bishop of Brandenburg, Stephan Bodecker, in The anti-trinitarian movement which arose in Poland in the 16 th century also affected the Jews. Some sectarian leaders were interested in proving to their Catholic opponents who taunted them as being semi-iudei the difference between them and the Jews. The Jews in general avoided contacts with the sectarians; but some accepted the challenge.
The arguments of Jacob are preserved in the book of answers by Marcin. It is a well-organized and clearly written book.