Socrates van Constantinopel en de antieke christelijke geschiedenisfilosofie

  • Peter Van Nuffelen


Traditionally the following main characteristics are attributed to ancient
christian philosophy of history. (1) History constitutes a whole extending
from creation to the second coming of Christ, which implies that time and
history are more or less identical. (2) History evolves in a direct line from
creation or incarnation to the second coming of Christ. Every event is to
be seen in this perspeccive. As a consequence, the goal of history is identical
to its meaning. This paper argues that although many ancient theologians
and historians may have accepted these ideas, Socrates of Constantinople
(fifth century) cannot be entirely foced into this model. He sees history
evolving from a period of peace (in 324) to a new one that announces itself
in the middle of the fifth century, passing through more than a century of
war and strife. During these periods of peace, nothing happens and no history
can be written. This implies that for Socrates, time and history are not
identical. The historian also does not limit the meaning of the events to
the way they carry us closer to the Parousia. Using the Bible as an interpretative
tool, he tries to extract a moral and spiritual meaning from them.
Socrates' opinions, as reconstructed here, can be used to add nuances to
the traditional view.

How to Cite:

Van Nuffelen, P., (2003) “Socrates van Constantinopel en de antieke christelijke geschiedenisfilosofie”, Handelingen - Koninklijke Zuid-Nederlandse maatschappij voor taal- en letterkunde en geschiedenis 57, 187-201. doi:

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Published on
15 Dec 2003
Peer Reviewed