The Rhetoric of Conversion in Ancient Philosophy and Christianity

Journal article
(Original article)

Publication Details

Author(s): Köckert C
Journal: Studia Patristica
Publisher: Peeters
Publication year: 2013
Volume: 62
Pages range: 2005-2012
Language: English


In his classic monograph Conversion. The Old and the New in Religion from Alexander the Great to Augustine of Hippo (1933), Arthur Darby Nock proposes an influential assessment of conversion in Antiquity. He identifies conversion as a specific feature of ancient Christianity and regards conversions to philosophy as exceptions within the pagan world. This paper collects and studies statements and accounts of ‘conversion to philosophy’ and seeks to establish their communicative and social functions. It, then, asks how Christian conversion narratives relate to the concept of ‘conversion to philosophy’, taking Cyprian of Carthage’s account of his conversion in Ad Donatum as an example. The paper argues that conversion narratives support the self-presentation as a philosopher or as a Christian and, furthermore, play an important role in the debate about the realisation of a philosophical or a Christian life.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Köckert, Charlotte Prof. Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Kirchengeschichte I (Ältere Kirchengeschichte)

How to cite

Köckert, C. (2013). The Rhetoric of Conversion in Ancient Philosophy and Christianity. Studia Patristica, 62, 2005-2012.

Köckert, Charlotte. "The Rhetoric of Conversion in Ancient Philosophy and Christianity." Studia Patristica 62 (2013): 2005-2012.


Last updated on 2018-09-08 at 00:26