Eusebius of Caesarea against Paganism

Eusebius of Caesarea against Paganism

Eusebius of Caesarea against Paganism

Eusebius of Caesarea against Paganism


Dealing with the subject of apologetics and polemics against the pagans in Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 260-340), this volume discusses his response to the vigorous political, cultural and religious campaign launched against Christianity in his time. The first part of the book examines the background for Eusebius apologetic enterprise and his early apologetic writings. The second and main part of the study analyzes major topics in Eusebius great two-part apologetic work, the Praeparatio Evangelica and the Demonstratio Evangelica, such as the concept of Christian prehistory, prophecy and miracles. The last part deals with Eusebius tactics and rhetoric and the place of Porphyry - the outstanding pagan polemicist against Christianity - in Eusebius work. This part closes with a discussion of Eusebius final apologetic statement in his work The Theophany, reflecting already the recent triumph of Christianity. This publication has also been published in paperback, please click here for details."


This study has been completed with the help of many people and I am grateful to all concerned. I began my work on Eusebius of Caesarea as a doctoral thesis (in Hebrew) submitted to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1990. The entire dissertation has been extensively revised and updated and additions have been introduced throughout.

It is a great pleasure for me to acknowledge the aid I have received from friends and colleagues. I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to my supervisor, Prof. Guy G. Stroumsa, for his continuous assistance and encouragement over the years and for making the writing of this study a pleasurable experience. The Jewish and Christian Perspectives Series seems a natural place for a study of Eusebius, who had contacts with Jews in Caesarea and was preoccupied with the complex relations between Christianity and Judaism. I would like to acknowledge the generous assistance of Dr. Marcel Poorthuis and Prof. Joshua Schwartz, coeditors of the Jewish and Christian Perspectives Series, who carefully read the present version, and made insightful suggestions. Thanks are also due to Dr. Meir M. Bar-Asher, Dr. Bruria Bitton-Ashkelony, Prof. David Flusser, Prof. Ora Limor, Prof. Lorenzo Perrone, and Prof. Zeev Rubin, for reading the whole or sections of this study, and for their sound and illuminating comments. I should also like to thank Mrs. Rivkah Fishman-Duker for her help in translating this work from the Hebrew and Mrs. Jennie Feldman for her rigorous editing of the English style. What goes without saying should in this case be stated: the responsibility for any errors or shortcomings is mine alone.

It is a special pleasure to thank the staff at Brill Publishers, particularly Freek van der Steen, Ph.D., for their professional work, as well as for their patience and good grace. I would also like to thank Yad Avi Hayishuv—The Rothschild Fund—(Jerusalem), for the support of my study.

Last but not least, special thanks are due to my wife, Bettina, for her patience and encouragement throughout the years.

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