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Ex uno homine tota haec animarum redundantia. Ursprung, Entstehung und Weitergabe der individuellen Seele nach Tertullian

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The purpose of this article is to examine Tertullian’s opinions on the origin, beginning and transmission of the human soul. These opinions cannot be considered as representing a coherent and systematic doctrine which is evidenced not only by some inner inconsequences and contradictions but also by the fact that Tertullian’s reasoning is to a great extent motivated by the efforts to refute the arguments of his opponents. The core of Tertullian’s “doctrine”—the distinction between the Spirit of God (spiritus) and his breath ( flatus), the latter being the very substance of the human soul, transmitted by the act of procreation and deriving, ultimately, from the original soul of Adam (traducianism)—was intended by him as the main weapon against the alternative concepts of the soul as presented by Hermogenes and Marcion.

Affiliations: 1: Zentrum für patristische, mittelalterliche und Renaissancetexte, Kyrill-Method Theologische Fakultät, Palacký Universität P. O. Box 87, Purkrabská 2, 771 87 Olomouc Institut für klassische Studien, Akademie der Wissenschaften der Tschechischen Republik Na Florenci 3, 110 00 Praha 1 Czech Republic, Email:


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