Barbarism and Religion, Volume 5 by J. G. A. Pocock

By J. G. A. Pocock

This 5th quantity in John Pocock's acclaimed series on Barbarism and faith turns to the debate attributable to Edward Gibbon's therapy of the early Christian church. studying this controversy in remarkable intensity, Pocock demanding situations the idea that Gibbon wrote with the goal of destroying trust within the Christian revelation, and questions our realizing of the nature of 'enlightenment'. Reconsidering the genesis, inception and reception of those the most important chapters of Decline and Fall, Pocock explores the reaction of Gibbon's critics, declaring that his popularity as an unbeliever was once verified sooner than his historical past of the Church have been written. The importance of Barbarism and faith is already obvious. faith: the 1st Triumph may be learn not only as a impressive research of the making of Decline and Fall, but additionally as a touch upon the collision of trust and disbelief, a subject matter as pertinent now because it was once to Gibbon's eighteenth-century readers.

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15 These, furthermore, take the form known as gnosticism: an altogether alien theology, or rather theosophy, incompatible with either creation or incarnation. 16 Whether these were Jews or Greeks will be a problem for historians. The history of heresy and orthodoxy has begun, in a form far removed from that in which Gibbon chose to tell it. 11 12 15 Eusebius, i, xiii, 5–22 (in Lake, 1926, pp. 86–97); ii, ii, 1–3 (in Lake, 1926, pp. 110–12). 13 Lake, 1926, pp. 146–57. 14 Acts viii, 9–24. Eusebius, ii, v, xvii, xviii.

31 It had been possible, however, to move from the Ebionite position towards the contention that Christ was the name of a divine power or being, that had descended upon Jesus and left him at his crucifixion; and toward the gnostic contention that this Christ was an aeonic being, sent to liberate mankind from the creator Jehovah. At this point there would seem to occur a breach with any theology compatible with the Jewish past, and in the debatable ground between Ebionites and gnostics many positions and confusions were possible.

16 Whether these were Jews or Greeks will be a problem for historians. The history of heresy and orthodoxy has begun, in a form far removed from that in which Gibbon chose to tell it. 11 12 15 Eusebius, i, xiii, 5–22 (in Lake, 1926, pp. 86–97); ii, ii, 1–3 (in Lake, 1926, pp. 110–12). 13 Lake, 1926, pp. 146–57. 14 Acts viii, 9–24. Eusebius, ii, v, xvii, xviii. 16 Chadwick, 1967, pp. 33–4. Eusebius, ii, xiii–xv (in Lake, 1926, pp. 136–43). The Christian ancients: Eusebius and the Fathers 27 (ii) We are concerned here with the accounts of heresy that Gibbon derived, or could have derived, from his ancient and recent sources.

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