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(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

An apologist is one who speaks or writes in defense of a faith or cause. The term has come to be used to describe a group of second-century Church fathers who wrote letters defending the new faith of Christianity.

The earliest of them is unknown, although his apology, To Diognetus, still survives. Perhaps the most well known of the early apologists is Justin (c. 100-c. 165), whose death for the faith earned him the name Justin Martyr. Tertullian (c. 155 or 160-c. 225) is still remembered for his work, Apology.

The importance of these works is that historians, by studying them, can learn about the early objections to Christianity as well as the manner in which educated members of the church responded to them. This leads to an understanding of how Christian theology evolved through the very act of responding to early criticism.



a collective term for the early Christian writers, primarily of the second and third centuries (the period during which the Christians were persecuted by Roman authorities), who defended the principles of Christianity against the criticism of non-Christian philosophers (Jews and “pagans”).

The most important apologists included the Easterners (who wrote in Greek) Quadratus, Aristides, Justin Martyr, Tatian, Athenagoras, Theophilus of Antioch, Melito of Sar-dis, and Origen; and the Westerners (who wrote in Latin) Tertullian and Minucius Felix. The apologists laid the foundation for Christian theology, especially Theophilus and Tertullian, who introduced the term “trinity.”

With the transition of Christianity to the status of a state religion (fourth century), when it became unnecessary to defend Christianity against paganism, apologetic literature gradually disappeared and was replaced by polemical works directed against heresies. The last apologist was Theodoret of Cyrrhus, who wrote in the fifth century, a time when paganism was already practically powerless.

Sometimes the term apologists is also applied to the medieval polemicists against Islam and Judaism.


References in periodicals archive ?
I hope those Lebanese who are here with us today, along with millions of others back home in Lebanon, will again show the world how they can transcend fear -- in order to use those 2013 legislative elections to defeat the remnants of the Syrian occupation and reject the apologists of Assad's butchery," he said.
The most original aspect of this book is Nasrallah's attempts to link the debates in which these apologists participated to the physical surroundings of the urban fabric.
This week during the plenary sessions of the Parliament held in Strasbourg, Ambassador Aryasinha who addressed the 'Friends of Sri Lanka' of the European Parliament - a cross party group which comprises 25 MEPs from over 10 EU member countries, drew attention to this issue, and urged them to prevail upon European institutions and their respective home governments "to prevent efforts by LTTE apologists to seek to discredit Sri Lanka, which having overcome its 30 year long struggle against LTTE terrorism, is now firmly embarked on a path of reconciliation and development".
They may be a holocaust merchant (as Norman Finklestein would have put it), a philosopher and a film producer but first and foremost they are apologists for a fascist country with a government that kills women and children, builds settlements in Palestinian land (all Israel is an illegal outpost until an independent Palestinian state is created), and has turned Gaza Strip into an open air Nazi concentration camp.
This short book, dedicated to the famous apologist, Francis Schaeffer, contains endnotes, a short bibliography in chapter five, scripture index, and subject index.
ANY MOVE TO UP TAXES on private equity partnerships--investment groups that buy out publicly traded companies, and avoid paying standard income tax rates in the United States--will leave the industry less competitive in global markets, say investment fund industry apologists in the United States.
The black n-word apologists tick off an endless storehouse of defenses to rationalize using the slur.
SO the apologists for the Blair Project are rearing their heads in Scotland.
Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda must be proud of these apologists for their murderous plots.
Does the Israeli government and their apologists honestly believe that shelling innocent kids flattening houses and collectively punishing a nation is the way to solve the Middle East crisis?
It has been my long-term experience that UBC and its corrupt ilk primarily exist to staff the ranks of apologists, paid to window dress this plunder of our natural capital.
Just because we libertarians support free markets doesn't mean we should become apologists for companies that run contrary to all standards of ethical conduct--companies that care only about maximizing their profits at the expense of all else.