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The Making of FornicationEros, Ethics, and Political Reform in Greek Philosophy and Early Christianity$
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Kathy Gaca

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520235991

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520235991.001.0001

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Driving Aphrodite from the World

Driving Aphrodite from the World

Tatian and His Encratite Argument

Chapter:
(p.220) (p.221) Chapter 8 Driving Aphrodite from the World
Source:
The Making of Fornication
Author(s):

Kathy L. Gaca

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520235991.003.0008

This chapter examines Tatian's reasons for thinking that Christians must reject sexual activity altogether in order to be saved. It also uses the extant fragment from Tatian's On Perfection according to the Savior and his Oratio ad Graecos. The chapter then investigates the Greek ideas which motivated Tatian to declare that sexual activity is contrary to the way of God. Tatian believes that the Greek gods tangibly exist and that they have the powers traditionally associated with them in Greek religion, Homer, and astrology. A discussion on Tatian and the early Christian dilemma between choosing God or Aphrodite is also presented. Tatian reinterprets the Prophets' and Paul's ideas about God's punishment of his spiritually adulterous people. The theme of soul therapy allows him to recreate the metaphor of adultery in the Prophets and Paul. Tatian's principle of sexual renunciation has not become the dominant mode of Christian sexual mores.

Keywords:   Tatian, God, Christian sexual mores, Aphrodite, Prophets, Paul, sexual renunciation

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