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Demons Among The Messalians

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Chapter Summary

Those who have studied the Messalians know that it is almost impossible to give a really satisfactory description of a complete corpus of texts which would allow us to study Messalian doctrine, and to arrive at a description of the role of the demons in this doctrine. Based upon one of the earliest clear testimonies about the Messalian movement, Theodorets story about it and especially about Adelphius doctrine, we think there can be found a solution to the question of a demon, or demons, in man, by the hypothesis of an anthropology which connects demons and affections, such as it is known to us through Gnostic texts. In the context of this contribution this chapter situates the problem in general terms and makes a clear decision about the sources. On the basis of this decision it summarises the role of the demon(s). Finally, it investigates the origin of this doctrine.

Keywords: Adelphius doctrine; anthropology; demons; Gnostic texts; Messalians; origin; sources; Theodoret



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