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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which attempts to avoid the problem of identification by working with what most scholars consider Valentinian, while treating each tractate as an instance of Valentinian thought but not as representative of a unified or homogeneous Valentinianism nor as part of a grand synthesis of a Valentinian system(s). The book demonstrates the social rhetoric of moral exhortation within instances of Valentinian Christianity. These texts were written by real people to real people within historical contexts and evidently with specific rhetorical goals in mind. The chapter presents an overview of how the other chapters of the book are organised.

Keywords: moral exhortation; Valentinian Christianity



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