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African christianity before Tertullian

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Chapter Summary

The Octavius of Minucius Felix has the form of a disputatio in utramque partem with an introduction which seems to be purely traditional. The Christians of Africa before Tertullian did not believe that the soul of the believer went immediately after death to Paradise, or heaven, or to some intermediate abode, as most other Christians believed. It would seem that Minucius here is reflecting these rather archaic views of his African fellow Christians. The same may perhaps be said about the Christology of Minucius. We find it in the early centuries, and even nowadays, as an expression of the faith of the faithful. In this chapter, Minucius Felix reflects the naive modalism of African Christianity as he reflected its naive belief in the resurrection of the body. The chapter highlights that the African Christianity had a long and surprising prehistory, like Egyptian Christianity.

Keywords: African Christianity; Minucius Felix; Octavius; Tertullian



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