Gregory Thaumaturgus has only occasionally been discussed in relation to early Christian apologetics. The paper provides a new step in this direction by exploring the points of contact between Gregory’s Address to Origen and previous apologetic literature. As the analysis below will indicate, the Address shows parallels with several apologetic texts from the second and early third century, both in terms of content and style. By discussing the apologetic topics and strategies found in the Address, I will argue that Gregory intended to respond, at least indirectly, to some of the main charges raised against Christians by their pagan opponents. Such an approach not only sheds light on the content and purposes of the Address, but also illuminates the historical and literary background against which Gregory wrote his text.
The anonymous church order formerly identified as the Apostolic Tradition and attributed to Hippolytus is now regarded by many scholars as a composite work made up of layers of redaction from around the mid-second to mid-fourth centuries. This essay revises the unsatisfactory attempt to discern such strata in its ordination prayers that was made by Eric Segelberg as long ago as 1975, and argues that their earliest forms are among the oldest material in the so-called Apostolic Tradition, belonging to the first half of the second century.
The present essay argues that Augustine’s understanding of the physical mechanism of pain and pleasure bears an analogous relationship to the internal mechanics of his moral psychology. The significance of this analogy is threefold. It corroborates emerging consensus positions regarding Augustine’s moral psychology, including recognizing the significance of Stoic influences as well as construing Augustine’s psychology as monistic; it draws attention to a greater consistency between Augustine’s earlier and later accounts of moral psychology than is typically recognized in scholarship; and it offers a schema that organizes the significant components of Augustine’s moral psychology, like his theory of action, habit, the will, and conversion, in relation to one another within a single conceptual system.