Valentinian Ethics and Paraenetic Discourse: Determining the Social Function of Moral Exhortation in Valentinian Christianity

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BRILL, 2009 - Religion - 368 pages
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Offering a fresh assessment of the presence and function of paraenesis within Valentinianism, this book places Valentinian moral exhortation within the context of early Christian moral discourse. Like other early Christians, Valentinians were not only interested in ethics, but used moral exhortation to discursively shape social identity. Building on the increasing recognition of ethical and communal concerns reflected in the Nag Hammadi sources, this book advances the discussion by elucidating the social rhetoric within, especially, the "Gospel of Truth" and the "Interpretation of Knowledge." The social function of paraenesis is to persuade an audience through social re-presentation. The authors of these texts discursively position their readers, and themselves, within engaging moments of narrativity. It is hoped that this study will encourage greater integration of research between those working on the Nag Hammadi material and those studying early Christian paraenetic discourse.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Constructing Social Identity Through Discourse A SocioRhetorical Approach for the Study of Valentinian Paraenesis
21
From Literary Level to Historical Reconstruction
22
Social Discourse and Positioning Theory
35
Social Rhetoric and Narrativity
52
Defining Paraenesis I Historical Phases within the Academic Study of Paraenesis
57
Paraenesis from Dibelius to Oslo
58
Martin Dibelius
59
Moral Exempla
147
VirtueVice Lists
164
Two Way Schema
175
Two Schools and the Call to Reconciliation Literary and Social Aspects of Moral Exhortation in the Interpretation of Knowledge
185
Literary Aspects in the Interpretation of Knowledge
190
Social Positioning in the Interpretation of Knowledge
201
Existing in Error Literary and Social Aspects of Moral Exhortation in the Gospel of Truth
217
Literary Framework for the Paraenetic Subsection
221

Malherbe and the 1960s to 1980s
64
Perdue the Semeia Group and Martin 1990s
67
The LundOslo Group 20002004
88
Defining Paraenesis II Towards a Functional Understanding of Paraenesis
109
A Working Understanding of Paraenesis
116
Basic Definitional Contours
120
Social Aspects
122
Types of Paraenesis
124
Paraenetic Genre
125
Paraenetic Subsection
127
Paraenetic Aside
128
Value of Genre Analysis
129
Definitional and Analytical Aspects of Paraenesis
132
Literary Aspects of Paraenesis Indicators of Moral Exhortations from the GrecoRoman World within Valentinianism
135
Imperatives and Prescriptive Discourse
138
The BradleyMullinsBrunt Debate
223
Topoi as Clustering
230
Literary Aspects of Gospel of Truth 32313332
233
Social Positioning in the Gospel of Truth
257
Conclusion
285
Valentinian Paraenesis and Early Christian Paraenesis
286
Social Function as Rhetorical Acts
301
Valentinianism as a Set of Social Movements?
309
Implications of this Study for Future Studies
314
Bibliography
317
Secondary Works
320
Index of Modern Names
343
Index of Ancient Sources
348
Subject Index
361
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About the author (2009)

Philip L. Tite, Ph.D. (2005) in Religious Studies, McGill University, is Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Willamette University, Salem Oregon. He is the author of "Compositional Transitions in 1 Peter" (International Scholars, 1997), "Conceiving Peace and Violence" (UPA, 2004), and co-editor of "Religion, Terror and Violence" (Routledge, 2008). His research and teaching center on the social and rhetorical aspects of early Christianity and Gnosticism.

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