Religious Polemics and Encounters in Late Antiquity

Boundaries, Conversions, and Persuasion


Volume Editors: , , and
Religious Polemics and Encounters in Late Antiquity: Boundaries, Conversions, and Persuasion explores the intricate identity formation and negotiations of early encounters of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). It explores the ever-pressing challenges arising from polemical inter-religious encounters by analyzing the dynamics of apologetic debate, the negotiation and formation of boundaries of belonging, and the argumentative thrust for persuasion and conversion, as well as the outcomes of these various encounters, including the articulation of novel ideas. The Late Antique authors studied in the present volume represent a variety of voices from North Africa, passing through Rome, to Palestine. Together, these voices of the past offer invaluable insight to shape the present times, in hope for a better future.

Prices from (excl. shipping):

Add to Cart
Timo Nisula is Adjunct Professor in dogmatics at the Åbo Akademi University. He is the author of Augustine and the Functions of Concupiscence (2012) and has published several articles on the theology and rhetoric of Augustine’s preaching.

Anni Maria Laato is Adjunct Professor in patristic studies at the University of Helsinki, and in dogmatics in Åbo Akademi University. Apart from her dissertation, Jews and Christians in De duobus montibus Sina et Sion, she has published articles mainly in the field of patristics.

Pablo Irizar is Faculty Lecturer and Kennedy Smith Chair in Catholic Studies at the School of Religious Studies of McGill University in Montreal (Canada). Since 2019, he has serves as Director of the Newman Centre, also at McGill. He was awarded the 2020 Louvain Studies Theological Research Award for emerging young scholars.

Contributors are Antti Laato, Erkki Koskenniemi, Sami Yli-Karjanmaa, Sven-Olav Back, Maijastina Kahlos, Anni Maria Laato, Siiri Toiviainen Rø, Joseph Grabau, Timo Nisula, Eetu Manninen, Pablo Irizar, Aäron Vanspauwen, Serafim Seppälä.
Notes on Contributors

Abraham in Justin Martyr’s Dialogue
Antti Laato

Excellent, but How? Abraham in Josephus
Erkki Koskenniemi

Illusory Polemics: Clement and Irenaeus on the Gnostics
Sami Yli-Karjanmaa

Justin Martyr as a Polemicist
Sven-Olav Back

Mimus Religionis, Mimicry, and Deviance: Late Antique Polemic against Religious Others
Maijastina Kahlos

Tertullian on Christian Converts and Clashes with the Pagan World
Anni Maria Laato

Worshipping a False Go(o)d: Praeparatio Evangelica 7.2–4 through the Lens of Anti-Epicurean Polemics
Siiri Toiviainen Rø

Anti-Donatist Polemic and Biblical Hermeneutics: Questions of Ecclesiology in Augustine of Hippo’s De Doctrina Christiana
Joseph Grabau

Talking with the Enemy: Fictitious Polemical Dialogues against the Donatists in Augustine’s Sermones Ad Populum
Timo Nisula

The Challenge of Shame for Philosophical Dialogue in Augustine’s Early Writings
Eetu Manninen

The Grace of Merit and the Merit of Grace: Dialogical Ambiguity in Augustine’s Sermons
Pablo Irizar

The Rhetoric of Appropriation and Dissociation in Evodius’ Aduersus Manichaeos: A Case Study of Anti-Manichaean Polemics
Aäron Vanspauwen

Threat of Conversion in the Earliest Syriac Writings on Islam?
Serafim Seppälä

All interested in the contents and modes of religious polemics and rhetorical persuasion in Late Antiquity both in interreligious contacts, between Abrahamic traditions and intra-Christian relations.
  • Collapse
  • Expand