When Abraham Met Socrates

When Abraham Met Socrates October 4, 2014

In my first year seminar class “Faith, Doubt, and Reason,” students read part of Genesis and the Euthyphro dialogue before being asked in an assignment to retell the Abraham story, putting themselves in Abraham’s shoes and wrestling with the question of what makes actions morals. This semester, I had a student start the dialogue this way:

Socrates: Abraham, what brings you to court today?

Abraham: I tried to kill my son, Isaac.

I thought that was a brilliant weaving together of the two stories. My favorite part of the dialogue was this:

Abraham: You ask too many questions Socrates.

Socrates: You don’t ask enough questions Abraham.

I really appreciate how the student managed to “get in character” for both Abraham and Socrates.



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  • I’ve always found it odd that Abraham argues numbers with God to save Sodom (Genesis 18), lies to Abimelech that Sarah is his sister, sending her to sleep with him, to save his own skin (Genesis 20), but when God tells him to sacrifice his own son (Genesis 22)- not a word to save Isaac; he hops right to it.

  • arcseconds


    (and here i was pre-emptively rolling my eyes in anticipation of someone thinking that Socrates and Abraham were contemporaries…)

  • redpill99

    did Abraham exist?