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Title: Defining Christianity : Justin's contra-Marcionite defence
Author: Hayes, Andrew David Robin
ISNI:       0000 0004 5368 4434
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis examines Christian identity in the early second century though the texts of Justin Martyr. It argues that his is a project of defining what it is to be a follower of Jesus and worshiper of God and that in doing so he is making a deliberate but subtle counter claim to Marcion’s theology of Jesus. The thesis argues that Marcion features much more than the few direct instances to him in Justin’s texts and much more than has commonly been recognised. By close examination of the context of Justin’s writing and the topics his spends the most time debating a pattern emerges whose determinate shape looks particularly contra-Marcionite. The first part of the thesis places Justin and Marcion in the context of the time and highlights the significant issues around what constitutes Jewish and Christian identity in the period. This is central to the thesis. Because both of these identities are so unsettled and negotiable in the period a project aiming at clarification and definition of who and what Christians are was particularly pertinent. The success of Marcion in attracting followers with a theological story quite different to what became orthodox Christianity made this task all the more urgent. The main body of the thesis will look closely at Justin’s two major surviving works, the First Apology and the Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, and demonstrate the ways that by reading between the lines the spectre of Marcion can be seen to be a motivating factor of Justin’s address. These two texts are very different to one another and it is notoriously difficult to be sure of the audiences each is addressed to. However this thesis will demonstrate that both in equal measure, though in different ways, clearly form part of a contra-Marcionite project in which Justin seeks to rule Marcion and his followers out of those who are considered by outsiders to be Christians.
Supervisor: Vinzent, Markus ; Adams, Edward Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available