Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Interesting Arabic - language reference to Galen?!


What follows is the cite as given to us by one Fr. Michael E. Giesler in the January 2009 issue of the Homiletic & Pastoral Review, in his fascinating article "Celibacy in the first two centuries."

"10 This statement was preserved in an Arabic document (see Leslie W. Barnard, Athenagoras [[Paris: Editiones Beauchesne, 1972]. 55). Alsop R. Walzer, Galen on Jews and Christians (Oxford, 1949), 19 - 20."

The topic here is the hostility of some non - Christians towards Christians practicing celibacy.

"Yet not all non - Christians were so hostile.

"Galen, the great physician and philosopher of the second century, and contemporary of Justin Martyr and Athenagoras, was particularly impressed at the high standards of morality practiced by the followers of Christ.

"After praising their continence and fearlessness before death, he states that the Christians also number individuals who, in self - discipline and self - control in matters of food and drink, and in their keen pursuit of justice, have attained a pitch not inferior to that of genuine philosophers. (10)

"To be called a philosopher was a great honor in the minds of non - Christians of that era; it was also one of the central aspirations of Emperor Marcus Aurelius...."


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