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Apologists

The term given to a number of early Christian writers (c.120-220) who belonged to a period in history when the growing Christian Church was meeting with ever- increasing hostility in every department of public life. They include Quadratus, Aristides, Justin, Tatian, Theophilus, Minucius Felix, and Tertullian. They worked on the frontier of the church, seeking to defend the Faith from misrepresentation and attack, commending it to the inquirer and demonstrating the falsity of both Judaism and polytheism. These writers did not need to create a literary form for their purpose, because it already existed in the legal speech for the defense (apologia) which was delivered before the judicial authorities and subsequently published. There was also the literary form of the dialogue which was usually based upon fictitious circumstances. As the person of Christ was the central difficulty to pagan thinkers, the Apologists found the Logos concept common to both Platonism and Christianity a welcome means of making this doctrine acceptable to Hellenistic philosophy.