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Marriage, Celibacy, and Heresy in Ancient Christianity The Jovinianist Controversy by David G. Hunter

Marriage, Celibacy, and Heresy in Ancient Christianity The Jovinianist Controversy

Part of the Oxford Early Christian Studies Series


Marriage, Celibacy, and Heresy in Ancient Christianity The Jovinianist Controversy by David G. Hunter

Marriage, Celibacy, and Heresy in Ancient Christianity is the first major study in English of the 'heretic' Jovinian and the Jovinianist controversy. David G. Hunter examines early Christian views on marriage and celibacy in the first three centuries and the development of an anti-heretical tradition. He provides a thorough analysis of the responses of Jovinian's main opponents, including Pope Siricius, Ambrose, Jerome, Pelagius, and Augustine. In the course of his discussion Hunter sheds new light on the origins of Christian asceticism, the rise of clerical celibacy, the development of Marian doctrine, and the formation of 'orthodoxy' and 'heresy' in early Christianity.


Hunter's work is impressive... it takes on some of the most contentious doctrinal issues from the early Christian period and clearly shows a church in formative mode. * Aideen Hartney, Journal of Theological Studies * A wonderful example of what the best scholarship in late antique Christianity ought to look like. * Shawn W. J. Keough, Bryn Mawr Classical Review * In the end it is impossible not to be convinced by Hunter's central contention, that Jovinian is to be understood not as a 'laxist
advocate of unrestrained immortality but as a sincere and serious thinker. These same questions would be asked and answered again, from Pelagius to Martin Luther and beyond

; and Hunter is right to restore them to a central place in the history of Christian ideas. * Michael Stuart Williams, Journal of Ecclesiastical History * Hunter's excellent book will doubtless remain a standard work for years to come; although the topic is specialized, Hunter's fine style makes the book accessible to a wider audience than scholars of late ancient Christianity. * Elizabeth A. Clark, Journal of Early Christian Studies * It is important work that merits attention since its main trajectory is theological and contextual... The study id therefore a welcome addition to the study of sexuality and asceticism in late antiquity. * Chris de Wet, Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae *

About the Author

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Book Info

Publication date

7th May 2009


David G. Hunter

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Oxford University Press


338 pages


Christian theology



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