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Second Century Incarnational Christology and Early Catholic Christianity


This book proposes a model for explaining unity and diversity in early Christianity that centers about a clear confessional identity, allowing both extreme expressions of diversity of texts and traditions while explaining the exclusion of teachers, texts, and traditions that deviated from the confessional norm.
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0646-8
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Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Nov 9,2016
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 488
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0646-8
$95.00
$57.00

The identity of catholic Christianity in the early second century was marked by a unified confession of the unique incarnational narrative—that the heavenly Son/Logos became incarnate, suffered, died, rose again, and ascended into heaven. In the early second century this narrative was already widespread and played a foundational role in the theology and paraenesis of catholic Christians. This confessional identity both preceded and precipitated identity-challenging christological conflict with teachers and traditions that rejected central tenets of the incarnational narrative. This book further proposes a model for explaining unity and diversity in early Christianity that centers about a clear confessional identity, allowing both extreme expressions of diversity of texts and traditions while explaining the exclusion of teachers, texts, and traditions that deviated from the confessional norm. This model also proposes an explanation for the promotion and protection of a clear catholic identity in the early second century apart from the structures of an established canon, creed, and cathedra. Furthermore, this early, widespread, and foundational incarnational narrative suggests that its historical roots reach back perhaps as early as the middle of the first century among the majority of first generation Christians.

The identity of catholic Christianity in the early second century was marked by a unified confession of the unique incarnational narrative—that the heavenly Son/Logos became incarnate, suffered, died, rose again, and ascended into heaven. In the early second century this narrative was already widespread and played a foundational role in the theology and paraenesis of catholic Christians. This confessional identity both preceded and precipitated identity-challenging christological conflict with teachers and traditions that rejected central tenets of the incarnational narrative. This book further proposes a model for explaining unity and diversity in early Christianity that centers about a clear confessional identity, allowing both extreme expressions of diversity of texts and traditions while explaining the exclusion of teachers, texts, and traditions that deviated from the confessional norm. This model also proposes an explanation for the promotion and protection of a clear catholic identity in the early second century apart from the structures of an established canon, creed, and cathedra. Furthermore, this early, widespread, and foundational incarnational narrative suggests that its historical roots reach back perhaps as early as the middle of the first century among the majority of first generation Christians.

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Contributor

Michael Svigel

Table of Contents (v)

Acknowledgments (ix)

Abbreviations (xi)

Chapter 1. Many Christologies, Many Christianities? (1)

The Context of the Question (1)

The Legacy of Harnack (4)

The Legacy of Bauer (9)

Contemporary Scholarly Tendencies (12)

The Need for This Study (19)

The Role of Christology in Early Catholic Self-Definition (19)

The Catholicity of the Incarnational Narrative (23)

An Explanation of the Dual Phenomena of Unity and Diversity in Early Christianity (26)

Chapter 2. Methodological Considerations (29)

The Primary Sources (34)

Returning to the Sources (36)

Presuppositional Problems: Historiography or Hagiography? (39)

Overview (44)

Chapter 3. Ignatius of Antioch: Writings and Theology (47)

The Writings of Ignatius of Antioch (50)

The Theology of Ignatius of Antioch (53)

The Incarnational Narrative of Ignatius of Antioch (58)

An Examination of the Role of the Incarnational Narrative in the Letters of Ignatius (59)

Chapter 4. Ignatius to the Ephesians (64)

Exposition of Ephesians (64)

Reception by the Ephesians (85)

Chapter 5. Ignatius to the Magnesians (89)

Exposition of Magnesians (89)

Reception by the Magnesians (108)

Chapter 6. Ignatius to the Trallians and Romans (111)

Exposition of Trallians (112)

Reception by the Trallians (120)

Exposition of Romans (121)

Reception by the Romans (127)

Chapter 7. Ignatius to the Philadelphians (129)

Exposition of Philadelphians (129)

Reception by the Philadelphians (144)

Chapter 8. Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans and to Polycarp (147)

Exposition of Smyrnaeans (148)

Exposition of Polycarp (159)

Reception by the Smyrnaeans and Polycarp (162)

Chapter 9. Ignatius of Antioch’s Concept of Catholic Christianity (165)

Conclusions Regarding Ignatius’s Incarnational Narrative (169)

Confirming the Catholicity of the Incarnational Narrative (172)

Chapter 10. The Incarnational Narrative in Syria (175)

The Didache (176)

The Gospel of Peter (192)

Odes of Solomon (198)

Conclusion: The Incarnational Narrative in Syria (203)

Chapter 11. The Incarnational Narrative in Asia Minor (205)

Polycarp of Smyrna (205)

Martyrdom of Polycarp (210)

The Epistula Apostolorum (215)

The Testimony of Pliny (217)

Conclusion: The Incarnational Narrative in Asia Minor. 220

Chapter 12. The Incarnational Narrative in Achaia and Macedonia (221)

First Clement (221)

Aristides of Athens (240)

Philippi in Macedonia (244)

Conclusion: The Incarnational Narrative in Macedonia and Achaia (245)

Chapter 13. The Incarnational Narrative in Rome (247)

Review of Evidence from Ignatius (247)

Review of Evidence from First Clement (249)

The Shepherd of Hermas (250)

Polycarp and Anicetus (268)

Conclusion: The Incarnational Narrative in Rome (271)

Chapter 14. The Incarnational Narrative in Second Clement and Barnabas (273)

Second Clement (273)

Epistle of Barnabas (286)

The Incarnational Narrative in Second Clement and Barnabas (295)

Chapter 15. The Catholicity of the Incarnational Narrative (297)

Regional Testimonies (297)

Regional Relationships (301)

Summary of the Argument (303)

Chapter 16.Non-Incarnational Christologies and Non-Catholic Christianities (307)

Non-Incarnational Narratives of the Second Century (311)

Context: The ‘Heretics’ as the Catholics Saw Them (313)

Chapter 17. Early Non-Catholic Testimony (c. 100–150) (319)

Early Testimony: Primary Evidence (320)

Early Testimony: Secondary Evidence (341)

Chapter 18. Later Non-Catholic Testimony (c. 150–225) (347)

Later Testimony: Primary Evidence (347)

Later Testimony: Secondary Evidence (363)

Later Testimony: Tertiary Evidence (369)

Chapter 19. Contrasted Communities and Conflicting Narratives (377)

Conclusion: Second Century Non-Incarnational Christologies (383)

The Narrative Center of Catholic Solidarity as the Source of Controversy with Non-Catholic Communities (385)

Results of this Study (386)

Chapter 20. Postscript: Whence the Incarnational Narrative? (389)

The New Testament Background: A Survey (391)

History as Hermeneutic: A Proposal (397)

The Final Curtain (401)

Bibliography (407)

Index (455)

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