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On Recycling Texts and Traditions: The Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions and Religious Life in Fourth-Century Syria

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the Recognitions and Homilies, both of which obviously recycle earlier traditions. The Homilies and Recognitions, both of which were written in fourth-century Syria, are thought to contain much older materials that may contain ancient traditions about Jesus, the disciples and the Jerusalem church. The chapter provides a different perspective by addressing one way in which the Pseudo-Clementines' recycled traditions became newly relevant in the negotiation and construction of religious identity in Late Antique Syria. The author focuses on Markion, whose followers' presence in fourth-century Syria had an important impact on the construction of the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions and Homilies. The Recognitions and Homilies show us that topics attributed to the "age of the apologists" continued to be relevant in new ways for fourth-century Christians, and that Late Antique authors were not above recycling materials from earlier times when they suited the concerns of their audiences.

Keywords: fourth-century Syria; Homilies; Markion; Pseudo-Clementine recycled traditions; Recognitions



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