Themes in ancient and byzantine philosophy C

Course Information
TitleΘΕΜΑΤΑ ΑΡΧΑΙΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΒΥΖΑΝΤΙΝΗΣ ΦΙΛΟΣΟΦΙΑΣ Γ΄. / Themes in ancient and byzantine philosophy C
SchoolSocial Theology and Christian Culture
Cycle / Level2nd / Postgraduate
Teaching PeriodWinter/Spring
CoordinatorKonstantinos Bozinis
Course ID60005122

Class Information
Academic Year2017 – 2018
Class PeriodWinter
Faculty Instructors
Weekly Hours3
Total Hours39
Class ID
Course Type 2016-2020
  • Background
Course Type 2011-2015
General Foundation
Mode of Delivery
  • Face to face
Digital Course Content
Language of Instruction
  • Greek (Instruction, Examination)
Learning Outcomes
A deeper acquaintance of the students with the philosophical content of the Christian religion The following are particularly set as learning objectives: (a) the consolidation of scientific methodology in the interpretation of the sources of ancient Christianity and (b) the investigation of the philosophical ideas that are included in them
General Competences
  • Work in teams
  • Work in an interdisciplinary team
  • Advance free, creative and causative thinking
Course Content (Syllabus)
Systematic analysis of the influence that exercised upon Early Christianity the ancient Greek philosophy. 1) Introduction: philosophical currents, syncretism and popular faith in the Greco-Roman world in the first centuries AD 2) Echoes of philosophical ideas in Paul and the authors of the New Testament 3) The Apostolic Fathers: (a) Platonic elements in the epistles of Ignatios of Antioch, (b) the assimilation of motifs of the political philosophy in the Ecclesiology of Clement of Rome’s first letter to the Corinthians, (c) the teaching of the two ways in Barnabas and in the Didache of the Twelve Apostles, etc. 4) The conflict with Gnosis: Christianity between monism and dualism in the post-apostolic era 5) The dialogue of the Apologists with the Hellenic philosophy in the second century AD: a detailed look at the works of Justin, Tatian, Athenagoras, Theophilus of Antioch and at the Epistle to Diognetus) 6) The School of Alexandria: Pantaenus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and the beginnings of a philosophy of Christianity 7) The philosophical presuppositions of the theology–economy distinction in Athanasios of Alexandria 8) Cappadocian Theology: Part I (the utilization of philosophical terms – person (πρόσωπον) and hypostasis (ὑπόστασις), essence (οὐσία) and nature (φύσις) – for the determination of the Triadological doctrine by the three Cappadocians, the distinction in their work of the created-uncreated (κτιστοῡ-ἀκτίστου), which has at its base the ontology of Hellenism, the theory of the Divine names in the anti-Eunomian writings of Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nyssa and the issue of “Christian nominalism”) 9) Cappadocian Theology: Part II (the outline of a Christian cosmology in the homilies On the Hexaemeron of Basil of Caesarea and its further elaboration by Gregory of Nyssa, On the making of man by the latter and its philosophical influences, the Platonic likeness to God (ὁμοίωσις θεῷ) and Christian mystical theology, other Hellenic ideas in the work of the Cappadocian Fathers) 10) From the True Logos of Celsus until the Against the Galileans of Julian: three centuries of polemical writing against the Church and the development of Christian Apologetics 11) John Chrysostom: (a) the development of a Christian theory of the State in the corpus of John’s homilies, based upon the thirteenth chapter of Paul’s epistle to the Romans, (b) the imbuement of Platonism and Stoicism in the ethical teaching of Chrysostom 12) The transformation of ancient natural science: mixing, mingling, blending and union (μῖξις, κρᾶσις, σύγκρασις and ἔνωσις) in the discussions related to the Christological doctrine in the fourth and fifth centuries AD 13) Survey of the material, conclusions, and discussion: (a) the “Hellenization of Christianity or the Christianization of Hellenism? – a critical examination of the positions of Adolph von Harnack and his scientific school, (b) the research data over fifty years after the publication of Early Christianity and Greek Paideia by Werner Jaeger
Ancient Greece-Philosophy, Hellenism and Christianity, Christianity-Influences, New testament-Paulus, Fathers of the Church, Byzantine Philosophy
Educational Material Types
  • Notes
  • Book
Use of Information and Communication Technologies
Use of ICT
  • Use of ICT in Communication with Students
Course Organization
Reading Assigment
Written assigments
Student Assessment
Written work at the end of the semester, while taking into consideration the active participation of the student in class and the undertaking of work, which they present before the professor and their fellow students.
Student Assessment methods
  • Written Assignment (Summative)
  • Oral Exams (Summative)
  • Performance / Staging (Formative, Summative)
  • Report (Formative)
Additional bibliography for study
1. W. Jaeger, Early Christianity and Greek Paideia, London-Oxford-New York 1961 2. H.A. Wolfson, The Philosophy of the Church Fathers, τόμ. Β΄ (Faith, Trinity, Incarnation) Cambridge-Massachusetts 1956 3. Ch. Köckert, Christliche Kosmologie und kaiserzeitliche Philosohie (Die Auslegung des Schöpfungsberichtes bei Origenes, Basilius und Gregor von Nyssa vor dem Hintergrund kaiserzeitlicher Timaeus-Interpretationen), Tübingen 2009 4. M. DelCogliano, Basil of Caesarea’s Anti-Eunomian Theory of Names (Christian Theology and Late-Antique Philosophy in the Fourth Century Trinitarian Controversy), 2010
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