Contesting Aristotle : Science, theology and the resurrection of the body in Methodius of Olympus' De Resurrectione and the Dialogue of Adamantius

Journal article


La Valle Norman, Dawn. (2021). Contesting Aristotle : Science, theology and the resurrection of the body in Methodius of Olympus' De Resurrectione and the Dialogue of Adamantius. Vigiliae Christinane. pp. 1-23. https://doi.org/10.1163/15700720-bja10034
AuthorsLa Valle Norman, Dawn
Abstract

The contest over the resurrection of the body used the scientific authority of Aristotle as ammunition on both sides. Past scholars have read Methodius of Olympus as displaying an anti-Aristotelian bias. In contrast, through close reading of the entire text with attention to characterization and development of argument, I prove that Methodius of Olympus’ dialogue the De Resurrectione utilizes Aristotelian biology as a morally neutral tool. To put this into higher relief, I compare Methodius’ dialogue with the anonymous Dialogue of Adamantius, a text directly dependent upon the Methodius’ De Resurrectione, but which rejects arguments based on scientific reasoning. Reading Methodius’ De Resurrectione with greater attention to the whole and putting it in the context of its nearest parallel text retells the traditional story of early Christian resistance to Aristotle. Methodius of Olympus’ characters, although they view scientific knowledge as subordinate to philosophy, see it as neutral in and of itself.

Keywordsresurrection of the body; Aristotle; Methodius of Olympus; Dialogue of Adamantius; ancient science
Year2021
JournalVigiliae Christinane
Journal citationpp. 1-23
PublisherBrill
ISSN0042-6032
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1163/15700720-bja10034
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85111659459
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range1-23
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusIn press
Publication dates
Online22 Jul 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited13 Jan 2022
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