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Purple Prose

Roger Pearse, who has done such great work on the Fathers at The Tertullian Project, is now co-blogging at Thoughts on Antiquity. This is cause for celebration.

Roger has already posted quite a bit. One fascinating recent item is on the fragments of the neo-Platonist philosopher Porphyry — one of Christianity’s three greatest intellectual opponents in antiquity (the other two being Celsus and Julian). Roger briefly reviews some of the published editions of Porphyry and then links to his own online collection of the fragments.

I don’t often recommend that Christians spend their leisure hours reading the Church’s enemies — especially when so many volumes of the Fathers go unread. But it is fascinating to see how little the arguments against the faith have changed or developed in 2,000 years. Christianity, meanwhile, has undergone beautiful development. Yet it is still quite recognizable as the Church of the apostles and martyrs, the Church that drew the fury of the persecutors and the best efforts of brilliant men like Porphyry. (His name, by the way, means purple, as in the gemstone.)

Oh, and Roger also reports on the possibility that one of Theodore of Mopsuestia’s lost works may have been found recently in France.