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The Shadow of the ParthenonStudies in Ancient History and Literature$
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Peter Green

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520255074

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520255074.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Athens and Jerusalem

Athens and Jerusalem

(p.94) Athens and Jerusalem
The Shadow of the Parthenon

Peter Green

University of California Press

This chapter examines one of Christianity's thorniest historical dilemmas, which was summed up in the great rhetorical question posed by Tertullian: “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem, what the Academy with the Church?”. It opines that it is ironic that the dissemination of Christ's kerygma beyond mere local ethnic and linguistic frontiers should have been made possible only by international Greek culture and the imperial administration of Rome, since Graeco-Roman culture (whatever Christian humanists may say) was fundamentally opposed to the entire concept of Christianity as such. Thus the immediate successors to the Apostles found themselves in a highly ambivalent position. The chapter explains that if they were to spread the Gospel message effectively, they would have no option but to borrow wholesale from the philosophy, literature, and rhetorical techniques of a pagan culture which they were committed to destroy.

Keywords:   Tertullian, Athens, Jerusalem, Academy, Church, Christ's kerygma, Graeco-Roman culture, Christianity, Apostles, Gospel

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