Docetism in the Early Church

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Joseph Verheyden, Reimund Bieringer, Jens Schröter, Ines Jäger
  • Tübingen, Germany: 
    Mohr Siebeck
    , March
     289 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Kevin Clarke forthcoming.


This volume studies the ways modern research has tried to detect traces of Docetism in ancient sources, including the gospels and the Johannine epistles and several second-century authors. As a concept, Docetism is often used in scholarly literature for denoting loosely connected or even quite different phenomena or doctrines that all have to do with defining the nature of Christ and the reality of the incarnation and passion of Jesus. The essays presented here approach the topic from a new angle by focusing on the ancient documents themselves instead of staying on a purely theoretical or dogmatic level, while at the same time critically re-examining the historical contexts in which these were produced and first circulated. In some cases, this serves to once more reveal the hidden agendas that have guided modern scholars in their discussion of these topics.

Survey of contents

Joseph Verheyden: Introduction – Allen Brent: Can There be Degrees of Docetism? – Jörg Frey: “Docetic-like” Christologies and the Polymorphy of Christ: A Plea for Further Consideration of Diversity in the Discussion of “Docetism” – Francis Watson:Pauline Reception and the Problem of Docetism – Paul Foster:Christophany Stories in the Synoptic Gospels and Docetism – Jens Schröter: Eucharistie, Auferstehung und Vermittlung des ewigen Lebens: Beobachtungen zu Johannes und Ignatius (mit einem Ausblick auf Justin, Irenäus und das Philippusevangelium) – Reimund Bieringer: The Passion Narrative in the Gospel of John: A Hotbed of Docetism? – Maarten J.J. Menken: The Secessionists of the Johannine Epistles and Docetism – Alistair C. Stewart: Ignatius' “Docetists”: A Survey of Opinions and Some Modest Suggestions – Paul Anthony Hartog: The Impact of the Christological Controversies: Comparing the Ignatian Kerygma and Romans 1 – Dominika Kurek-Chomycz: “… the Flesh of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, Which suffered for Our Sins”: The Early Christian “Dying for” Formula, Suffering, and the Eucharist in IgnSm 7:1 – Taras Khomych: Conflicting Choreographies? Dance as Doctrinal Expression in Ignatius' Ephesians 19 and Acts of John 94–96 – Winrich Löhr: A Variety of Docetisms: Valentinus, Basilides and Their Disciples

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Joseph Verheyden is Professor of New Testament Studies in the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at KU Leuven.

Reimund Bieringer is Professor of New Testament Studies in the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at KU Leuven.

Jens Schröter is Professor of New Testament Studies in the Faculty of Theology at the Humboldt University, Berlin.

Ines Jäger is a doctoral student at KU Leuven and HU Berlin.

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