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Repentance in Late Antiquity
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Repentance in Late Antiquity: Eastern Asceticism and the Framing of the Christian Life c.400-650 CE

Alexis C. Torrance


The call to repentance is central to the message of early Christianity. While this is undeniable, the precise meaning of the concept of repentance for early Christians has rarely been investigated to any great extent, beyond studies of the rise of penitential discipline. In this study, the rich variety of meanings and applications of the concept of repentance are examined, with a particular focus on the writings of several key ascetic theologians of the fifth to seventh centuries: SS Mark the Monk, Barsanuphius and John of Gaza, and John Climacus. It is shown how they predominantly see repenta ... More

Keywords: repentance, penance, early church, early Christianity, ascetic theology, Byzantine theology, Eastern Orthodox spirituality, Mark the Monk, Barsanuphius and John of Gaza, John Climacus

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199665365
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665365.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alexis C. Torrance, author
Hannah Seeger Davis Postdoctoral Fellow in Hellenic Studies, Princeton University