Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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The notion of evil (Gk κακόν, κακία; Lat. malum; lit. “evilness”), along with its opposite, the idea of good (ἀγαθόν; καλόν), is in the focus of early Christian philosophical and theological reflection, largely based both on Greek philosophy and on Scripture. From the philosophical side, for Socrates, at an ethical-gnoseological level, evil was vice and ignorance, as opposed to the good, which was virtue and science. Plato elaborated a metaphysical doctrine of the good, as opposite to evil, which is mere negativity: …

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Ramelli, Ilaria L.E., “Evil”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 06 June 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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