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Title: The Shepherd of Hermas and the Muratorian Canon
Author: Hansell, P.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2002
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This thesis examines the date, reception and literary setting of the Shepherd of Hermas. It includes a reassessment of the Muratorian Canon, the most important external evidence for the date. Chapter 2 explores critical questions relating to the Shepherd's internal evidence, particularly the date. It considers textual and numismatic evidence, concluding that the Shepherd probably dates to the early second century. Chapter 3 is a fresh study of the Muratorian Canon, often assumed to date the Shepherd accurately; however it is considered here to reflect an important early negative perception of the Shepherd. This Chapter argues that the Canon is a Roman canonical list, possibly an excerpt from a lost dialogue, written within an early-third century anti-Montanist context, from the Hippolytean school. The Shepherd was probably used as a scriptural authority by Callistus' church to justify a view of second repentance unacceptable to the Hippolytean school and Tertullian. This led the school to undermine the scriptural authority of the Shepherd, by dating it to the time of Pius. Chapter 4 sheds further light upon the Shepherd through a fresh study of its wider literary setting. After a comparison with other apocalyptic works, especially I Enoch and 4 Ezra, it is argued that the whole of the Shepherd: Visions, Mandates and Similitudes, is an apocalypse not only in form but also in content. Three main themes are considered: mode of revelation, eschatology and angelology. This apocalyptic dimension also sheds light upon the Shepherd's common paraenetic tradition with the New Testament, especially James (an Appendix sets out this material), on the understanding of repentance in the Shepherd, and on contemporary ecclesiastical disputes. Finally the use of the word homonoia is judged to indicate a further literary link with the group of second century Greek writings termed the 'Second Sophistic'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available