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Qu’est-ce qu’une ἄλογος πίστις ?

Abstract : The idea that Christianity demands an ἄλογος πίστις is attested by the first anti-Christian polemicist, Celsus, and in two texts long attributed to Porphyry’s Against the Christians. Some Christian writers seem also to defend their faith from this accusation. But how should we understand the expression “ἄλογος πίστις”? To answer this question, I will start by introducing the three occurrences of the expression ἄλογος πίστις in pagan texts non linked to anti-Christian polemics : one in Cassius Dio and two in Porphyry. The latter is particularly important: the study of his works will show that an anti-Christian polemicist could speak of ἄλογος πίστις in different polemical contexts. Then I will focus on the three texts, in order to better understand what is an ἄλογος πίστις for Cassius Dio and Porphyry. In the end, I will stress some features of the texts of my corpus, that are likely to explain why this argument was so soon and widely used against Christians. My analysis will show that this charge, although often used against Christians, probably belonged to the philosophical, polemical arsenal: different views on religion or different philosophical teachings could be dismissed as “irrationals opinions”.
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Contributor : Gianluca Piscini <>
Submitted on : Monday, October 26, 2020 - 7:04:00 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 3:24:12 AM


  • HAL Id : halshs-02978911, version 1



Gianluca Piscini. Qu’est-ce qu’une ἄλογος πίστις ?. XVIII International Conference on Patristic Studies, Aug 2019, Oxford, Royaume-Uni. ⟨halshs-02978911⟩



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