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The Orthodox Nationalist: St. Justin the Philosopher – TON 052318

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Icon of St. Justin next to Homer the Historian. This is at the Great Meteoron Monastery in central Greece where Plato and other giants of Greek thought are depicted as being led by St. Paul and St. Justin to Christ.

Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson looks at the life of St Justin the Philosopher (100-165AD) and the synthesis of Platonism and Stoicism in Christianity for this week’s podcast.

St. Justin was a very early father of the church and a Christian Platonist. For him, it is no coincidence that Plato and the Stoics laid out their doctrines before Christ, since these doctrines were later used to make sense out of Christ's Incarnation.

Plato's final destiny was to pave the European road to Christ. As writers like Solovyev were to claim later, Plato's cosmic problem was to reconcile the Archetypes, the truth,  to the banal life in this world.  Christ bridged this gap, He solved the problem and fixed this abyss between God and man.

The Form of the Good had attached itself to the Form of Man, that is, human nature. This concept, even using Plato's terminology, was the foundation of the Orthodox faith as expressed by the most important of all ecumenical Synods, that of Chalcedon in 431.

Without the Platonic system, however, such doctrine could not have been understood efficiently. Platonism and Stoicism, at the very least, created a usable vocabulary to describe the incarnation.
The founder of this synthesis was St. Justin Martyr (or the Philosopher), who argued that the Old Law was of significant and critical influence over Greek philosophy.

Presented by Matt Johnson

The Orthodox Nationalist: St. Justin the Philosopher – TON 052318


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