19 - rationale for this position namely that there were...

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Early Christian Philosophy The mix of philosophies arose in the context of the deterioration of the Roman empire. A competing point of view was that of the new religion, Christianity. At first concerned merely with spreading the gospel of Jesus and gaining followers, the ancient Christians turned to philosophy in matters of dogma. The original Christian theologians were influenced powerfully by Greek rationalism. There was, however, a powerful anti-rationalist strain in early Christian thought. An extreme form of anti-rationalism calls for the overthrow of rationality altogether. The early Christian writer Tertullian proposed that rational absurdity is itself a reason to believe -- a theme echoed in the nineteenth century by the Danish philosopher S°ren Kierkegaard. There was a certain
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Unformatted text preview: rationale for this position, namely, that there were aspects of Christian theology that were, and are, hard to believe on ordinary grounds. The gospels tell us that JesusÆ disciple Thomas doubted JesusÆ resurrection until he saw the master in the flesh, and that Jesus rebuked Thomas for his lack of faith. Faith might be understood as a form of belief which is insensitive to normal standards of evidence. All the evidence was against JesusÆ resurrection, yet Thomas was wrong in failing to believe that it occurred. The general question for the philosophers was to delineate the relation between reason and faith....
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