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Marriage, Celibacy, and Heresy in Ancient ChristianityThe Jovinianist Controversy$
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David G. Hunter

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199279784

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199279784.001.0001

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Mary Ever‐Virgin? Jovinian and Marian Heresy

Mary Ever‐Virgin? Jovinian and Marian Heresy

(p.171) 5 Mary Ever‐Virgin? Jovinian and Marian Heresy
Marriage, Celibacy, and Heresy in Ancient Christianity

David G. Hunter (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

A survey of the history of the idea of Mary's virginitas in partu shows that the notion had only marginal support in the tradition of the first three centuries. Associated with both docetism and encratism, the doctrine was opposed even by ascetically minded teachers, such as Tertullian and Origen. In the late fourth century, however, the notion of Mary's virginitas in partu reappeared in the sermons of Zeno of Verona and the ascetical treatises of Ambrose; Jerome, by contrast, was more reticent about embracing the idea. Jovinian's opposition to the virginitas in partu, therefore, stood squarely in the mainstream of Christian opinion, as it had developed by the late fourth century.

Keywords:   virginity, docetism, apocrypha, Mary, Protevangelium of James, Ambrose, Zeno of Verona, Ascension of Isaiah, Odes of Solomon

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