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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.
The Israel apologists rehashed the story to suit their prejudices and I condemn them and see their Big Lie as the blood libel revisited by its victims and used against others.
This short book, dedicated to the famous apologist, Francis Schaeffer, contains endnotes, a short bibliography in chapter five, scripture index, and subject index.
But the apologists forget, ignore or distort one thing: Words are not value-neutral.
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.
Consequently, effective evangelizers, educators, and apologists should, and sometimes do, share one characteristic: a contagious enthusiasm.
The papal apologists at The New York Times expressed surprise in their article on the encyclical that the Pope did not denounce the abomination of gay marriage.
He and his apologists for thuggery should take a walk through a bunch of neds some night and see if they escape without being happy slapped.
Apologists for the administration and the Congress have tried to portray the 2004 increase of 5 percent as a boon because other recent annual increases have been in the 6-8 percent range.
In doing so, Watts breaks through the ages-old propaganda and paints a picture of the Ford Motor Company that is less sanitary, but no less interesting, than the official telling approved by Henry Ford and his apologists.
Singleton's hamfisted movies have never been gayfriendly (or woman-friendly, for that matter), and apologists may point to his characters as the culprits and not him, but you get the idea watching Four Brothers that Singleton's never bothered to sit down and think it through.