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Universal Salvation in Late AntiquityPorphyry of Tyre and the Pagan-Christian Debate$
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Michael Bland Simmons

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190202392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190202392.001.0001

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The Contra Christianos in the Context of Universalism

The Contra Christianos in the Context of Universalism

(p.52) 4 The Contra Christianos in the Context of Universalism
Universal Salvation in Late Antiquity

Michael Bland Simmons

Oxford University Press

Beginning with Arnobius, the first Christian writer to respond to Porphyry, and continuing to a number of Byzantine authors, this chapter gives a catalog of all the writers whose works contain information about the Contra Christianos which is dated to the early 300s A.D. by the author. Contrary to a recent attempt to date Arnobius’ Adversus nationes to c. A.D. 325, the evidence supports the author’s dating of this work to between A.D. 302–305 just before and during the Diocletianic Persecution of the Christians. The chapter focuses upon passages derived from the Contra Christianos that might reveal that one of the major themes of this lost work might have indeed addressed the theme of universal salvation. The chapter ends by giving a plausible chronology of the important soteriological works of Porphyry.

Keywords:   Against the Christians, Arnobius, Jerome, Eusebius of Caesarea, Augustine of Hippo, Lactantius, Macarius Magnes, Constantine, universalism, soteriological trilogy

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