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Milanski edikt i/li religijska tolerancija u svjetlu Laktancijeve kritike paganstva

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Abstract

Lucius Caecilius Lactantius Firmianus was an early Christian scholar, a renowned Roman rhetor and a tutor of Constantine’s son Crispus. He was a passionate apologists and one of the fiercest critics of paganism. In his apologetic works, particularly in Institutiones divinae and De mortibus persecutorum, Lactantius justified the persecution of pagans by divine justice, i.e. retribution for the persecution of Christians in the earlier periods of the Roman Empire. In this context, the author elaborates on the concept of religious tolerance in general, and provides a critical commentary on Lactantius’ arguments on the discrepancy between wisdom and philosophy (which is the idea taken over from Tertullian). In that context, the author of this paper considers that it is unjustifiable and quite intolerant to reduce paganism to an act of worshiping God’s creations rather than God himself. Besides, the author draws attention to Lactantius’ opinion, expressed in his Institutiones divinae, that philosophers are incapable of distinguishing between good and evil because their research is basically concerned with mundane rather than divine issues. Lactantius claims that, for this reason, philosophers are unable to reveal the complete truth but may (at best) reach only half-truths.
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