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Guilt by Association: Heresy Catalogues in Early Christianity

Geoffrey S. Smith
Format
Book
Published
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, [2015]
Language
English
ISBN
9780199386789, 0199386781, 9780199386796 (ebook), 9780199386802 (online content)
Summary
"Guilt by Association explores the creation, publication, and circulation of heresy catalogues by second- and early third-century Christians. Polemicists made use of these religious blacklists, which include the names of heretical teachers along with summaries of their unsavory doctrines and nefarious misdeeds, in order to discredit opponents and advocate their expulsion from the "authentic" Christianity community. The heresy catalogue proved to be an especially effective literary technology in struggles for religious authority and legitimacy because it not only recast rival teachers as menacing adversaries, but also reinforced such characterizations by organizing otherwise unaffiliated teachers into coherent intellectual, social, and scholastic communities that are established and sustained by demonic powers. This study focuses especially on the earliest Christian heresy catalogues, those found within the works of Justin, Irenaeus, Hegesippus, and the authors the Testimony of Truth and the Tripartite Tractate, with a special emphasis on the first two. Justin and Irenaeus receive special attention not because as so-called "fathers of the church" they occupy a privileged position in the historical record, but because by promoting and making use of a particular heresy catalogue, the Syntagma against All the Heresies, they popularized one specific heresiological model at the expense of others. By focusing upon the heresy catalogue, Guilt by Association not only accounts for the emergence of the Christian heresiological tradition; it also sheds new light upon the socio-rhetorical aims of the Pastoral Epistles, the circulation of early Christian literature, the emergence of a distinct Christian identity, and the origins of Gnosticism"--
Contents
  • Machine generated contents note
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Doxography, Pseudo-Pauline Literature, and the Christian Heresy Catalogue
  • Chapter 2: Justin's Advertisement of the Syntagma Against All the Heresies
  • Chapter 3: The Fragmentary Remains of Rival Heresy Catalogues
  • Chapter 4: Irenaeus, the 'School Called Gnostic,' and the Valentinians
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography.
Description
xv, 196 pages ; 24 cm
Notes
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic
  • Staff View

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    a| Includes bibliographical references and index.
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    a| "Guilt by Association explores the creation, publication, and circulation of heresy catalogues by second- and early third-century Christians. Polemicists made use of these religious blacklists, which include the names of heretical teachers along with summaries of their unsavory doctrines and nefarious misdeeds, in order to discredit opponents and advocate their expulsion from the "authentic" Christianity community. The heresy catalogue proved to be an especially effective literary technology in struggles for religious authority and legitimacy because it not only recast rival teachers as menacing adversaries, but also reinforced such characterizations by organizing otherwise unaffiliated teachers into coherent intellectual, social, and scholastic communities that are established and sustained by demonic powers. This study focuses especially on the earliest Christian heresy catalogues, those found within the works of Justin, Irenaeus, Hegesippus, and the authors the Testimony of Truth and the Tripartite Tractate, with a special emphasis on the first two. Justin and Irenaeus receive special attention not because as so-called "fathers of the church" they occupy a privileged position in the historical record, but because by promoting and making use of a particular heresy catalogue, the Syntagma against All the Heresies, they popularized one specific heresiological model at the expense of others. By focusing upon the heresy catalogue, Guilt by Association not only accounts for the emergence of the Christian heresiological tradition; it also sheds new light upon the socio-rhetorical aims of the Pastoral Epistles, the circulation of early Christian literature, the emergence of a distinct Christian identity, and the origins of Gnosticism"-- c| Provided by publisher.
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    a| Machine generated contents note: -- Introduction -- Chapter 1: Doxography, Pseudo-Pauline Literature, and the Christian Heresy Catalogue -- Chapter 2: Justin's Advertisement of the Syntagma Against All the Heresies -- Chapter 3: The Fragmentary Remains of Rival Heresy Catalogues -- Chapter 4: Irenaeus, the 'School Called Gnostic,' and the Valentinians -- Conclusion -- Bibliography.
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    a| Christian heresies x| History y| Early church, ca. 30-600.
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