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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Forthcoming Title- The Case for Christianity

Connor Court Publishing is proud to announce its forthcoming title, expected in July, entitled: The Case for Christianity: St Justin Martyr’s arguments for Religious Liberty and Judicial Justice.

From the Preface

Why is reading about St Justin of Neapolis, a saint and martyr of the second century AD, important for Christians of the twenty-first century?
St Justin lived during times similar to our own in many ways. Rome was the dominant world power and appeared for all intents and purposes unassailable. Economically, militarily and geographically Rome was at its height. Yet, it was beset by a number of growing problems––moral decay, family breakdown, falling birth rates, just to name a few. Religiously, Rome was conservative, yet eastern religions and mystery cults were spreading westwards and gaining many adherents. Fidelity to the gods was seen as essential to Rome’s continued prosperity and survival. Failure to render the gods their due threatened to bring down their wrath and despoil the empire.
Hence, the problem of the Christians. They refused to give any acknowledgement to the Graeco-Roman pantheon, and thus were considered as dangerous and impious atheists. For Rome’s survival, they therefore needed to be eliminated. In their efforts to destroy Christianity the Roman judicial procedure was arbitrary and ruthless. All that was needed for summary execution was the admission of bearing the Christian name and refusing to sacrifice to the Graeco-Roman gods.
St Justin’s efforts were urgent and heroic. He petitioned the very authority that persecuted Christians with a series of arguments pleading for judicial justice and religious liberty. His arguments appealed to the nobler sense in Romans, as well as to common sense. At the same time they contained an ‘evangelistic edge’ that sought his readers’ conversion to Christianity. This spirit of evangelism is very pronounced in St Justin’s other great work, Dialogue with Trypho the Jew.
In a number of respects the plight of second century Christians reflects the suffering of Christians in various modern-day contexts. St Justin’s arguments are, therefore, of a nature that can be appreciated by many a modern reader and should be of interest and relevance to Christians deprived of religious liberty today. St Justin’s struggle also reminds us that we in the West who enjoy religious freedom should never take it for granted.

About the Author
Robert Haddad is married to his wife, Suzy, and currently has four children, Elias, Anthony, Catherine and Christina. He holds qualifications in law, theology and religious education, namely a LL.B, Grad. Cert. RE, Grad. Dip. Ed., M.Phil., MA (Theo.) and MRelEd. Robert is also the author of Christ the Teacher Series (4 volumes), Lord of History Series (2 volumes).

Since 1990, Robert has worked full-time at St. Charbel’s College, Punchbowl, teaching Religion and History for 15 years. This was followed by 4 years as the Convener of the Catholic Chaplaincy at the University of Sydney. He has also been a lecturer at the Centre for Thomistic Studies since 1996, teaching Apologetics, Church Fathers and Church History, as well as assisting part-time with Lumen Verum Apologetics. He currently is the Director of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine for the Archdiocese of Sydney and lectures in Scripture and Church part-time at the University of Notre Dame, Australia.

- Anthony Cappello