APOSTASY – APOSTATES

APOSTASY APOSTATES. Early Christians were accused of apostasy against Jewish and pagan society. As deniers of Jewish religion and classical paideia, before the edict of Constantine they were considered a tertium genus between Jews and pagans, i.e., those who had burned their bridges with the mos maiorum of both. Alongside this meaning of apostasy, common in early apologetic literature adversus iudaeos and adversus paganos, there was also an application within Christianity itself: those who denied the Christian faith or the discipline of the Christian life. Thus the lapsi lapsed were considered apostate, i.e., those who had failed in the struggle for the faith, divided in 3rd-c. Africa into three categories: sacrificati who offered a cup of wine as a libation; thurificati who offered incense to the gods; and libellatici from libellum = certified or attested as having complied with orders many such certifications have been discovered, including in Egypt. In some cases attestation was sought even by those who were not publicly apostate. A fourth category was added during the persecution of Diocletian, traditores from tradere = to hand over, i.e., those who handed over the sacred books to the authorities. A focus of attention during the donatist polemic, traditores were equated with murderers and fornicators moechi et adulteri in Tertullian’s De pudicitia regarding their readmission to ecclesial communion. The question of apostates was thus tied closely to penitential discipline whether or not to readmit them and how. Later, the term meant more generally the abandonment or public denial of Christianity and adherence to a heretical sect. S. H¼bner, Kirchenbusse und Exkommunication bei Cyprian: ZKTh 84 1962 49-84, 171-215; M. Simon, Verus Israel, Paris 2 1964; A. Portolano, Il dramma dei lapsi nell’epistolario di Cipriano, Napoli 1972; Ch. Mohrmann, Tertium genus = ‰tudes IV, Rome 1977, 195-210.Pure Mormonism: Interview With The Apostate holidaymapq

APOSTASY – APOSTATES Photo Gallery



Statue of Julian the Apostate. Paris, Louvre Museum holidaymapq

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