Book Note | Classifying Christians: Ethnography, Heresiology, and the Limits of Knowledge

by David Maldonado Rivera in


"One of Berzon’s constant reminders is that powerful ideologies and strategies of representation often strive to hide their own seams and points of tension, but that it is in the process of highlighting these very points of tension that they find themselves at their most reproducible but also at their most frail.  The late ancient heresiologists cultivated strong rhetorics of exceptionality and mastery—the heresy hunter excelled at making discoveries and at flaunting erudition—but also rehearsed a discourse of fear of contagion, vulnerability, and epistemic overload."

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Book Note | Spiritual Taxonomies and Ritual Authority: Platonists, Priests, and Gnostics in the Third Century CE

by Peter Morris in


"Marx-Wolf demonstrates that these Platonist thinkers were closely connected despite the fact that one is a Christian and the other three are non-Christian. To this end, she reads these Platonists not in terms of different social or religious affiliations, but in terms of a shared paideia (2-3). She contends that this common formation explains elements of their thought that might otherwise be “surprising” such as Porphyry’s rejection of animal sacrifice."

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