Julian's Against the Galileans
R. Joseph Hoffmann
Prometheus Books, 2004 - Religion - 218 pages
Julian the Apostate sought to create a kind of 'Church of Paganism' as a viable alternative to the Christian religion in which he was reared, but which he repudiated to take up his ancestral gods and their rites. Thus it is fitting that Julian be treated as a Pagan Church Father. That is the treatment given him at last by the erudite R. Joseph Hoffmann, whose earlier reconstruction of Porphyry's Against the Christians and Celsus's The True Word allowed these great prophetic anti-Christian voices to sound forth again, no longer muffled and gagged by the Christian polemical contexts in which form alone Mother Church permitted them to survive. Bravo! - both for the fact of this book and its sterling quality!-Robert M Price, Johnnie Colemon Theological SeminaryProfessor Hoffmann in a very solid work has laid the foundation for any future study of Julian the Apostate. His book is a great achievement, and I will consult it frequently. !-Dr. Gerd Lüdemann, Professor of the History and Literature of Early Christianity, University of Göttingen, GermanyFlavius Claudius Julianus, better known to history by the name imposed by his Christian opponents, Julian the Apostate, was a nephew of the first Christian emperor, Constantine I. Julian is one of the most fascinating figures of late antiquity. More information is available about him from both pagan and Christian sources than about any other emperor. His reign inspired both admiration and contempt.Julian's ambitious program was to reinstate the religion of his ancestors and, in the process, to subdue the growth of the Christian church, which had achieved legitimacy under the reign of his uncle. Once in power, he immediately sought to revive the religion of classical Rome, to reform the pagan priesthood, revitalize training in classics and pagan philosophy and - as an affront to Christian prophecy - to rebuild the Jewish temple in Jerusalem.This is the first translation into modern English of the complete corpus of Julian's Against the Galileans and related writings. It not only puts the work of the philosopher-emperor into historical perspective but offers important insights into the waning days of pagan philosophy and the growth of the Christian church against the background of intellectual and religious opposition. The translations are supported by a full historical introduction to the life of Julian and a detailed treatment of his religious philosophy, including the origins of his understanding of the Christian faith.The work is essential reading for anyone interested in the religions of late antiquity, the growth of the Christian church, and the final phase of the conflict between paganism and Christian teaching.R. Joseph Hoffmann is the author of many books on early Christianity including Porphyry's Against the Christians. He is Campbell Professor of Religion at Wells College, New York, and chair of the Council for the Scientific Examination of Religion. He has taught at the University of Michigan, Oxford University, and the American University of Beirut.
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