Porphyry's Attempted Demolition of Christian Allegory

in The International Journal of the Platonic Tradition
Open Access


Porphyry wrote the Contra Christianos during the time of the persecutions, and later several Christian rulers consigned it to the flames. In that work Porphyry included a penetrating critique of Christian allegory. Parts of his argument reappeared in the Protestant Reformers and subsequently in modern biblical research. Scholarship on Porphyry's text often is dominated by the historical problems that beset the fragment. Such problems can be temporarily put aside to carefully study the key terms in Porphyry's argument. The net gain of such an approach is to understand the power of the argument and its structure in a clearer light.



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