Purgatory in Early Christian and Patristic Thought

Isabel Moreira

in Heaven's Purge

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199736041
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894628 | DOI:
Purgatory in Early Christian and Patristic Thought

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This chapter identifies some of the earliest Christian texts to describe purgation as part of the Christian afterlife and examines the interpretation placed on them by patristic authors from Origen to Augustine. Bede’s definition of purgatory is presented. The chapter discusses traditional “proof texts” for purgatory including 2 Maccabees, 1 Corinthians 3:11–15, and the fate of Dinocrates in the Passion of Perpetua and Felicity. It discusses purgatorial fire, universal salvation, and how ideas about original sin intersected with an economy of pain that was thought to cross the barrier of death.

Keywords: purgatorial fire; Origen; Augustine; Bede; Maccabees; Corinthians; Dinocrates; original sin; universal salvation; pain

Chapter.  10491 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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