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The Philosophical Critique of Christianity in Late Antiquity and the Enlightenment
The present study, for the first time, provides a comparative analysis of the objections raised against Christianity by late antique pagan philosophers (esp. Celsus in Alethes logos, Porphyry in Contra Christianos, and Julian the Apostate in Contra Gali-laeos) and Enlightenment philosophers and freethinkers and examines the impact of pagan thinking on the critique of Christianity in the 16th to 18th centuries – in particular, on discussions concerning the authority of the Bible, biblical exegesis, the Christian concept of faith, religious coercion and the uniformity of faith, the belief in miracles, and the Christ-ian understanding of morality.
This is a ground-breaking philosophical-historical study of the work of Galen of Pergamum. It contains four case-studies on (1) Galen’s remarkable and original thoughts on the relation between body and soul, (2) his notion of human nature, (3) his engagement with Plato’s Timaeus, (4) and black bile and melancholy. It shows that Galen develops an innovative view of human nature that problematizes the distinction between body and soul.