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Standing ApartMormon Historical Consciousness and the Concept of Apostasy$
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Miranda Wilcox and John D. Young

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199348138

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199348138.001.0001

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Purity and Parallels

Purity and Parallels

Constructing the Apostasy Narrative of Early Christianity

Chapter:
(p.174) 7 Purity and Parallels
Source:
Standing Apart
Author(s):

Taylor G. Petrey

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199348138.003.0007

This chapter questions the LDS notion that the original purity and unity of the apostolic church were replaced by contaminated variety, in light of current scholarly evidence that the opposite trajectory occurred: that is, the initial complex diversities of early Christian communities generated increasing anxiety over unity. It proposes that Latter-day Saints could more profitably study early Christian communities in terms of hybridity and the performance of identity rather than by searching for anachronistic parallels. The office of the apostle offers a case study of how words and concepts shifted over the history of Christianity. It suggests that a hermeneutical approach would encourage ethical awareness in representing early Christianity.

Keywords:   apostolic church, Christian primitivism, hybridity, apostle, apologetics, orthodoxy, Adolf von Harnack, hermeneutics, identity

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