The Brill Dictionary of Religion

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(390 words)

Polemics and Apologetics

1. There is a rhetorical ‘attack strategy’ for quarreling: polemics (Gk., polemiké téchne), identified by irrelevantly aggressive, but overpoweringly argumentational, discourse. Its intent is the annihilation of the opponent's position, or even of his or her person. Thus, its address is to an audience that offers evaluation, but that can be fictitious, as well. The corresponding counterpart is ap…

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Hack, Achim, “Polemics”, in: The Brill Dictionary of Religion, Edited by Kocku von Stuckrad. Consulted online on 02 June 2020 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124332, 20051223

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