Religion Past and Present

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(422 words)

[German Version]

A true (as opposed to “rhetorical”) question (Gk ζήτημα/zḗtēma, πρόβλημα/próblēma, ἀπορία/aporía, Lat. quaestio), seeking an answer that will solve a problem, is a fundamental tool for rational argumentation. It was used already by the ancient Greeks (beginning with the questions of Socrates in the dialogues of Plato) and rabbinic Judaism (in give and take between teacher and student). Formulation of questions became common early on in the theology of the Early Church (reaching a high point in Augustine, e.g. De diversis quaestionibus ad Simplicianum; Quaestione…

Cite this page
Köpf, Ulrich, “Quaestio”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 27 May 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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