The Fornicating Justice of Epiphanes

Kathy L. Gaca

in The Making of Fornication

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2003 | ISBN: 9780520235991
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929463 | DOI:
The Fornicating Justice of Epiphanes

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Epiphanes and Clement think their respective views of sexual morality and social order reflect the true spirit of Christianity. In this chapter, the historical significance of the disputation for shaping ecclesiastical sexual principles is first introduced. Epiphanes and Clement, despite their differences in sexual morality, concur on some religious and social norms that inform their disputation. However, in spite of their shared assumptions about God, his creation, and his plan for human beings, they differ markedly in the sexual norms that they each think are divinely mandated. Epiphanes's and Clement's dispute about the worth of innate sexual desire illustrates the divergent influence that Plato had on patristic interpretations of Greek biblical sexual norms. Epiphanes's paradigm failed and came to be grossly misrepresented as sheer lechery by Clement. Epiphanes challenged biblical sexual norms directly.

Keywords: Epiphanes; Clement; sexual morality; social order; Christianity; sexual norms

Chapter.  9087 words. 

Subjects: Classical Philosophy

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