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Non aliud iure dici debeamus quam Christiani: Heresy and Orthodoxy, Catholicity and Schism in the Late Fourth Century

  • Author(s): Whiting, Colin Mathew
  • Advisor(s): Salzman, Michele R
  • et al.

The Luciferians, a group of orthodox Christians emerging during the Arian crisis of the 4th century, stood in a unique position in early Christianity. Scholars have long-described them as "Nicene radicals," and ancient authors described them variously as catholic, schismatic, or heretical. An examination of the Luciferians and their opponents reveals that the Luciferians were no more or less radical than their contemporaries. Instead, the Luciferian group formed for other, primarily social, reasons. The emergence and development of the Luciferian group demonstrates the inherent drive towards the formation of rhetorical boundaries over theology where conceptual boundaries may not have truly existed, and also the porosity of said boundaries. The decline of the group suggests that while reification of boundaries may be necessary for the longetivity of a given group, it is not sufficient for a group's survival given other social factors. In the appendices, a translation is provided of the Luciferian Confessio Fidei and their petition, the Libellus Precum, for which no English translation has been published previously, as well as a translation of Theodosius' response, the Lex Augusta.

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