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Tertullian (c 155 - c 225 CE) of North Africa (probably Carthage) was a Christian apologist and writer, one of the first to write extensively in Latin. Around 195, he converted to Christianity from Paganism. Later he joined the Montanists, a strict, puritan sect, and thereby passed outside of the orthodox Church. He was well-educated and admired by Jerome and Cyprian. Known as the greatest theologian of the West until Augustine, he is described as brilliant, sarcastic, and intolerant. Skeptical of the value of Greek philosophy in articulating Christian truths, Tertullian asked "What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?" His treatises, thirty-one of which still exist, are arranged according to Apologetic, Disciplinary and Controversial texts. His Apology is dedicated to proving the social injustice directed against Christians, and his Against Praxeas was written to refute Modal Monarchianism. Tertullian was the first to use the term Trinitas (trinity) to describe the Godhead. In so doing, he paved the way for the development of orthodox Trinitarian and Christological doctrines.
Elise M. Bender
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