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Classifying Christians"Ethnography, Heresiology, and the Limits of Knowledge in Late Antiquity"$
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Todd S. Berzon

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520284265

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520284265.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 28 January 2022

The Infinity of Continuity

The Infinity of Continuity

Epiphanius of Salamis and the Limits of the Ethnographic Disposition

(p.186) 6 The Infinity of Continuity
Classifying Christians

Todd S. Berzon

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on the ethnographic and epistemological limitations of Epiphanius' Panarion. Organizing the heretical world forces the heresiologists, like various classical ethnographers before them, to reflect upon their ability to comprehend the totality of the Christian world around them. Epiphanius further acknowledged that heresy knew no geographical or territorial boundaries; it was a counterworld residing in his orthodox world. The chapter illustrates how Epiphanius not only admits this loss of control but also embraces it. There is no attempt to hide the fissures within his knowledge as they reflect his humanity and humility. Although Epiphanius continuously formulated rhetorical and structural schemes to combat the ever-changing contours of the heretical world, he was consciously aware of his shortcomings, fears, and failures.

Keywords:   Epiphanius, Panarion, heresiologists, Christian world, heretical world, classical ethnography

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