Guilt by Association: Heresy Catalogues in Early Christianity

Hardcover | October 15, 2014

byGeoffrey S. Smith

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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 andnefarious 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 coherentintellectual, 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. By focusing upon the heresy catalogue, Guilt by Association not only accounts for the emergenceof 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.

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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 andnefarious misdeeds, in order to discredit oppo...

Geoffrey Smith is Nease Fellow and Lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. He received a BA in Biblical Studies from Biola University in 2005, an MTS in Early Christianity from Harvard Divinity School in 2008, and PhD in Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity from Princeton University in 201...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:October 15, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199386781

ISBN - 13:9780199386789

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Doxography, Pseudo-Pauline Literature, and the Christian Heresy Catalogue2. Justin's Advertisement of the Syntagma Against All the Heresies3. The Fragmentary Remains of Rival Heresy Catalogues4. Irenaeus, the 'School Called Gnostic,' and the ValentiniansConclusionBibliography