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Guilt by AssociationHeresy Catalogues in Early Christianity$
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Geoffrey S. Smith

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199386789

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199386789.001.0001

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Doxography, Pseudo-Pauline Literature, and the Christian Heresy Catalogue

Doxography, Pseudo-Pauline Literature, and the Christian Heresy Catalogue

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Doxography, Pseudo-Pauline Literature, and the Christian Heresy Catalogue
Source:
Guilt by Association
Author(s):

Geoffrey S. Smith

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199386789.003.0001

Chapter 1 takes up the question of the origins of the early Christian heresy catalogue. If the earliest followers of Jesus did not make use of this polemical genre, where then did it come from? Scholars often point to the Greek doxographic or “tenet writing” tradition as the literary forerunner of the Christian heresy catalogue. Yet although heresy catalogues resemble lists of philosophers and philosophical views in form, they function quite differently. Therefore, this chapter directs attention away from doxographies, to an earlier group of Christian writings composed in the name of the apostle Paul. The anonymous authors who produced texts like the Pastoral Epistles, the Epistle to the Laodiceans, and the Apocryphal Correspondence between Paul and the Corinthians initiated important shifts in the ways that Christians conceived of their opponents and thus paved the way for the introduction of the heresy catalogue a generation later.

Keywords:   doxography, Greek philosophy, heresiology, heresy catalogue, Pauline Epistles

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