Browsing by Subject "heresy"

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  • Kahlos, Ritva Tuulikki Maijastin (Routledge, 2019)
  • Goggin, Marina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Both ancient writers and modern scholars have noted the frequency with which ascetics in the late Roman Empire were accused of Manichaeism. Such accusations are often discussed in relation to specific incidents, but have not typically been examined as a phenomenon in their own right. In this thesis, I compare the roles of Manichaean accusations in the Priscillianist and Jovinianist controversies. Priscillian was convicted of sorcery, and yet the accusation of Manichaeism haunted him so thoroughly that after his death, the emperor Magnus Maximus freely referred to him and his companions as Manichaeans. Prior to his death, Priscillian condemned Manichaeism for its illegality and idolatry, suggesting that Manichaeans were sun-worshippers in documents intended to demonstrate his own orthodoxy to skeptics. In the Jovinianist controversy, a veritable web of accusations plagued participants on both sides. The controversy’s particular focus on marriage, sex, and celibacy created an environment in which Manichaeism was frequently invoked, first to condemn anyone who rejected marriage as the Manichaeans were said to do, and later to condemn even Jovinian, who specifically campaigned against the elevation of celibacy. A comparison of the two controversies reveals a few basic patterns. First, the “Manichaean” label was versatile because Manichaeism itself carried a wealth of negative connotations, from magic to rejection of marriage to idolatry; it could easily be applied to opponents for a broad variety of reasons. Second, there are commonalities between the accusations in the two controversies: association with illegality, heresy, and asceticism are the common threads that unite the accusations. Third, in a time when the boundaries of orthodoxy were still being debated, Manichaeism served as a useful signpost for what was not orthodox. There were many polemical labels that could be applied to one’s opponents in this period; I argue that the accusation of Manichaeism stood out for its versatility, power, and the immediate relevance it gained from the visible presence of Manichaeans in the Empire.
  • Huerta Jiménez, Diego Alonso (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    The purpose of this thesis is to problematize the complexity and the variety of voices that dialogued by the end of the third century a.D. in Rome in order to contribute to shape the phenomenon we have come to know as Christianity. The research question is:as opposed to using just a source associated with the Church, what additional perspectives are provided by the juxtaposition of more voices in order to conceptualise alterity within Christianity in this foundational moment? In order to answer it, I use three sources (Eusebius’ Historia Ecclesiastica, Lactantius’ De Mortibus Persecutorum and the Memoria Apostolorum graffiti in Via Appia, Rome), which provide a variety of voices associated with a range social actors. The objective is to give a broader account of Christian alterity in late antiquity by means of applying a dialogic approach. Originally proposed by Mikhail Bakhtin, this hermeneutic paradigm seeks to juxtapose the voices of all the social actors implied in order to show the conflict between. Given that it would not be possible to juxtapose all the possible sources, I base my analysis in a historical framework grounded on secondary literature that also acts as a metadiscursive context to interpret the sources. I make use of mixed methods based on content analysis, using MaxQDA to code segments in all three sources and then analyse their frequencies in order to delineate which variables are more relevant to analyse. I thereafter present comments; first analysing only Eusebius’ text, then analysing all three together and showing the conflict between them. Finally, I contrast both conceptualisations. My main conclusion is that an open ended account of history represents alterity in a more complex way that allows researchers to make folk discourses visible, as was the case for these three sources, despite having the risk of being more chaotic.