Hellenic philosophy and Christianity
refers to the complex interaction between Hellenistic philosophy
and early Christianity
during first four centuries AD.
Jesus of Nazareth lived in Israel-Judah, an Aramaic culture with traditional Jewish philosophies and modes of thought. However Israel was an occupied territory of the Roman Empire, and had, moreover, already been Hellenized for many years before Roman occupation.
The conflict between the two modes of thought is recorded in scripture, in Paul's encounters with Epicurian
philosophers in Acts 17:18,
Over time, however, as Christianity
spread throughout the Hellenic world, an increasing number of church leaders were educated in Greek Philosophy
. The dominant philosophical traditions of the Greco-Roman world at the time were Stoicism
, and Epicureanism
. Of these, Stoicism and particularly Platonism were readily incorporated into Christian ethics and theology.
Christian assimilation of Hellenic philosophy was anticipated by Philo
and other Greek-speaking Alexandrian Jews. Philo's blend of Judaism, Platonism, and Stoicism strongly influenced Christian Alexandrian writers like Origen
and Clement of Alexandria
, as well as, in the Latin world, Ambrose of Milan
One early Christian
writer of the 2nd and early 3rd century,......