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Bibil Identifier bibil:250734
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Motivations for Encratite Practices in Early Christian Literature
Author Guffey, Andrew R.
Journal The Journal of Theological Studies (Volume: 65, Issue: 2)
Year (Publication) 2014
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2014
Year (Copyright) 2014
Year (Reference) 2014
Language English
Pages 515-549 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract The most prominent accounts of encratism identify it as an early Christian ascetical sect that refrained from sex, and possibly also wine and meat. Scholars usually give protological speculation as the reason for these prohibitions: the prohibition of marriage and sex is linked with speculation on the state of humanity and/or the world from the beginning of creation. This article questions that assumption, and, through a close examination of the evidence of early Christian heresiologists, possible cultural contexts, and certain apocryphal Acts of the Apostles, instead argues that encratism was marked by several motivations, of which the protological was perhaps one. The evidence from the ancient heresiologists and apocryphal Acts points to at least four potential motivations for encratite prohibitions: Hellenistic moral philosophy, demonology, social demarcation, and Pythagorean ethics.
DOI 10.1093/jts/flu124
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Ancient Christianity : Themes : Encratism
Links Online document (HTML, English)
Last modification 2018-09-03