Andrew S. Jacobs

in Epiphanius of Cyprus

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2016 | ISBN: 9780520291126
Published online January 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780520964983 | DOI:

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This chapter draws on Epiphanius of Cyprus's writings on bodily and institutional control to examine the way he portrays the exercise of religious discipline. It begins with Epiphanius's recitation of events surrounding the expulsion of the gnostics in the Panarion, a text which ostensibly instructs its readers how to weed out the impure from the faithful, and argues that we do not see the actual process by which this purification is effected. It suggests that the vague nature of Epiphanius's story speaks to the bishop's larger style of discipline and authority, a style characterized by improvisation. The chapter considers this improvisational style in ancient public discourse as well as Epiphanius's own improvisational style of church discipline in multiple Christian disciplinary contexts. It also discusses the relationship between the discipline of an individual Christian's body and the discipline of the whole church body throughout the Panarion.

Keywords: religious discipline; Epiphanius of Cyprus; gnostics; Panarion; purification; bishop; improvisation; church discipline; church body

Chapter.  13536 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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