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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 ?
Among those epic images to which Richard Montagu, William Laud, and other embattled apologists return, the English church is often imagined as a ship sailing in the treacherous waters between Scylla and Charybdis, assaulted contradictorily as truth struggles to navigate between extremes.
Part 1 lays the foundation for her investigation by analyzing the nature of the Apologists within the context of the "Second Sophistic" revival of self-conscious Hellenism and contemporary notions of travel within the Roman Empire.
Pedro de Valencia and the Catholic apologists of the expulsion of the Moriscos; visions of Christianity and kingship.
A: The call to be an apologist is from God, to God, and for God; it involves a focus on Bible study, prayer, and reading on issues relating to real life.
24) He focused on the impact of each individual Christian's ethic on the world while also serving as an apologist for the legitimacy of the Christian faith.
And his remorselessly remorseful actions seem to tap into a new mood of international diplomacy - so much so that he is appointed Chief Apologist to the UN.
She conducts a scathing critique of Beauvoir on many fronts, highlighting in this "future apologist of engagement"(p.
IAMalife-long SNP voter and have just stopped laughing at the risible ramblimgs of our anonymous Labour apologist in the letters page recently.
My claim is simply that everyone, whether he knows it or not, is a proponent of a world view; it follows that everyone will be an apologist (i.
But to his supporters, labeling Bishop Ting an apologist for Beijing is simplistic.
Gary's favorite continuing-education opportunities have been in contemporary worship and a conference on Dorothy Sayers, the mystery writer and Christian apologist.
hotel as players in the Gay Softball World Series, as quoted by Washington Times correspondent and Bush apologist Bill Sammon in his just-published book, Misunderestimated: The President Battles Terrorism, John Kerry, and the Bush Haters