Music to my ears!

Forthcoming in Vigiliae Christianae, and available as advance publication on the Brill website, is Alex Fogleman, “The Apologetics of Mystery: The Traditio apostolica and Appeals to Pythagorean Initiation in Josephus and Iamblichus”

Abstract:
While the Traditio apostolica ascribed to Hippolytus has primarily been the focus of studies about authorship and dating, this unique work also has much to suggest about rhetorical presentations of catechesis in the early Christian era. Comparing the TA to Josephus’s account of the Essenes in the Judean War and Iamblichus’s account of Pythagorean initiation in De vita Pythagorica, this essay argues that the TA’s presentation of catechesis can be read as constitutive of a quasi-apologetic defense of the Hippolytan “school” during the transitional period from school Christianity to monepiscopacy during the second century. Deploying similar Pythagorean imagery to describe the process of initiation, the author/editor of the TA makes a case for the Hippolytan school as offering a true philosophical way of life.

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