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Early Christian extreme asceticism

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
    That is incorrect. Groups of flagellants existed in the thirteenth century. As noted by One Bad Pig extreme self mortification [including periods of extreme fastng, sleep deprivation, and the infliction of physical violence or extreme discomfort upon the individual's own body] has much earlier antecedents within some Christian groups.

    From here: Maurer-Dass is a musicologist who [at the time of writing the article] was engaged in her doctoral research.


    https://www.medievalists.net/2022/02...s-middle-ages/
    The Disciplinati: Italian Beginnings


    The history of flagellant songs begins in thirteenth-century Italy, with a group of penitents known as the disciplinati. According to historian Daniel E. Bornstein, the disciplinati were formed circa 1260 by a hermit named Fra Raniero Fasani of Perugia. As noted in Bornstein’s book The Bianchi of 1399: Popular Devotion in Late Medieval Italy, legend holds that Fra Raniero practiced self-flagellation for eighteen years in solitude until he received a divine vision that warned him that because of humanity’s sinful acts, the destruction of the earth was imminent.

    While his vision predicted the end of the world, Fra Raniero also received a message of hope: that is, the Virgin Mary agreed to plead for humanity’s survival if public communal acts of repentance were performed. To garner participants for these acts of repentance, Fra Raniero informed the Bishop of Perugia of his vision, providing tangible evidence with a letter that he claimed was from the Virgin Mary. After hearing the details of this vision, the Bishop publicly announced Fra Raniero’s need for participants in acts of penance, resulting in the formation of the disciplinati.

    According to Bornstein, many citizens of Perugia followed Fra Raniero’s example and participated in public self-flagellation as a means of imploring God for forgiveness. Accompanying this self-mutilation was the communal singing of songs called Laude Spirituale.


    The allegation that Raniero received a personal letter from the Virgin is totally ridiculous [albeit hilarious] and rather charming and reminds me of the English lady in the 1930s who, convinced of the Second Coming, went up Mt Scopus every morning with a cup of tea to give to Jesus when he arrived back on earth.
    Perhaps you overlooked where I clearly wrote "flagellants, as a movement"

    Nobody said that they didn't exist prior to then.

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
      Perhaps you overlooked where I clearly wrote "flagellants, as a movement"

      Nobody said that they didn't exist prior to then.
      As the article states there were earlier movements of these sado-masochistic fanatics.
      "It ain't necessarily so
      The things that you're liable
      To read in the Bible
      It ain't necessarily so
      ."

      Sportin' Life
      Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
        That title could be read as a claim that Christian asceticism was by definition extreme. And given that you immediately start off citing Nixey's screed, that reading is pretty much the logical one.
        I used the reference to Nixey as an introductory sentence. The rest of the OP made it quite clear as to which particular types of Christians i was referring.

        Why did these individuals feel the need to live in their own filth, crawling with vermin, starving, mutilating, and violently abusing their bodies? Did they consider their self-inflicted mortification and suffering gratified their deity in some sado-masochistic way?
        "It ain't necessarily so
        The things that you're liable
        To read in the Bible
        It ain't necessarily so
        ."

        Sportin' Life
        Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

          I used the reference to Nixey as an introductory sentence. The rest of the OP made it quite clear as to which particular types of Christians i was referring.

          Why did these individuals feel the need to live in their own filth, crawling with vermin, starving, mutilating, and violently abusing their bodies? Did they consider their self-inflicted mortification and suffering gratified their deity in some sado-masochistic way?
          That doesn't sound much different than regular life for most people at that time.



          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by Sparko View Post

            That doesn't sound much different than regular life for most people at that time.

            As you are a Python fan perhaps you should remember the famous scene from The Life of Brian concerning "What have the Romans ever done for us"?
            "It ain't necessarily so
            The things that you're liable
            To read in the Bible
            It ain't necessarily so
            ."

            Sportin' Life
            Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
              As the article states there were earlier movements of these sado-masochistic fanatics.
              More that there were earlier groups, but it didn't become an actual movement until later.

              And are you saying that you know that all of the flagellants were getting off sexually from the whippings?

              Maybe you should find a more accurate term.

              I'm always still in trouble again

              "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
              "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
              "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by tabibito View Post

                The authenticity of Colossians is also questioned, it seems. I'm not sure what the scholars object to in that letter just yet, but the usual pattern is that a book is challenged when something in it says something that scholars object to.
                The language appears to be the major issue but that could be just a nothing burger. Surprisingly, Wikipedia actually has a brief balanced presentation:

                The letter's authors claim to be Paul and Timothy, but authorship began to be authoritatively questioned during the 19th century.[8] Pauline authorship was held to by many of the early church's prominent theologians, such as Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen of Alexandria and Eusebius.[9]

                However, as with several epistles attributed to Paul, critical scholarship disputes this claim.[10] One ground is that the epistle's language doesn't seem to match Paul's, with 48 words appearing in Colossians that are found nowhere else in his writings and 33 of which occur nowhere else in the New Testament.[11] A second ground is that the epistle features a strong use of liturgical-hymnic style which appears nowhere else in Paul's work to the same extent.[12] A third is that the epistle's themes related to Christ, eschatology and the church seem to have no parallel in Paul's undisputed works.[13]

                Advocates of Pauline authorship defend the differences that there are between elements in this letter and those commonly considered the genuine work of Paul (e.g. 1 Thessalonians). It is argued that these differences can come by human variability, such as by growth in theological knowledge over time, different occasion for writing, as well as use of different secretaries (or amanuenses) in composition.[14][4] As it is usually pointed out by the same authors who note the differences in language and style, the number of words foreign to the New Testament and Paul is no greater in Colossians than in the undisputed Pauline letters (Galatians, of similar length, has 35 hapax legomena). In regard to the style, as Norman Perrin, who argues for pseudonymity, notes, "The letter does employ a great deal of traditional material and it can be argued that this accounts for the non-Pauline language and style. If this is the case, the non-Pauline language and style are not indications of pseudonymity."[15] Not only that, but it has been noted that Colossians has indisputably Pauline stylistic characteristics, found nowhere else in the New Testament.[15][16] Advocates of Pauline authorship also argue that the differences between Colossians and the rest of the New Testament are not as great as they are purported to be.[17]

                The connection between Colossians and to Philemon, an undisputed epistle, (Philemon 2, Colossians 4:17), the greetings of both epistles bear similar names (Philemon 23–24, Colossians 4:10–14) is used as evidence by those who advocate Pauline authorship.[citation needed]

                According to N.T. Wright, Colossians and Ephesians seem "thoroughly and completely Pauline".[18]




                I'm always still in trouble again

                "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                  The language appears to be the major issue but that could be just a nothing burger. Surprisingly, Wikipedia actually has a brief balanced presentation:

                  The letter's authors claim to be Paul and Timothy, but authorship began to be authoritatively questioned during the 19th century.[8] Pauline authorship was held to by many of the early church's prominent theologians, such as Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen of Alexandria and Eusebius.[9]

                  However, as with several epistles attributed to Paul, critical scholarship disputes this claim.[10] One ground is that the epistle's language doesn't seem to match Paul's, with 48 words appearing in Colossians that are found nowhere else in his writings and 33 of which occur nowhere else in the New Testament.[11] A second ground is that the epistle features a strong use of liturgical-hymnic style which appears nowhere else in Paul's work to the same extent.[12] A third is that the epistle's themes related to Christ, eschatology and the church seem to have no parallel in Paul's undisputed works.[13]

                  Advocates of Pauline authorship defend the differences that there are between elements in this letter and those commonly considered the genuine work of Paul (e.g. 1 Thessalonians). It is argued that these differences can come by human variability, such as by growth in theological knowledge over time, different occasion for writing, as well as use of different secretaries (or amanuenses) in composition.[14][4] As it is usually pointed out by the same authors who note the differences in language and style, the number of words foreign to the New Testament and Paul is no greater in Colossians than in the undisputed Pauline letters (Galatians, of similar length, has 35 hapax legomena). In regard to the style, as Norman Perrin, who argues for pseudonymity, notes, "The letter does employ a great deal of traditional material and it can be argued that this accounts for the non-Pauline language and style. If this is the case, the non-Pauline language and style are not indications of pseudonymity."[15] Not only that, but it has been noted that Colossians has indisputably Pauline stylistic characteristics, found nowhere else in the New Testament.[15][16] Advocates of Pauline authorship also argue that the differences between Colossians and the rest of the New Testament are not as great as they are purported to be.[17]

                  The connection between Colossians and to Philemon, an undisputed epistle, (Philemon 2, Colossians 4:17), the greetings of both epistles bear similar names (Philemon 23–24, Colossians 4:10–14) is used as evidence by those who advocate Pauline authorship.[citation needed]

                  According to N.T. Wright, Colossians and Ephesians seem "thoroughly and completely Pauline".[18]


                  So, letters which are, in their own introductions, attributed to Paul and others can be considered non-Paulian because they include language that is not normal for Paul. Seems legit.
                  1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
                  Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
                  .
                  "when the church no longer teaches its people why they believe what they believe, the world will often step in and fill in the gaps." Ryan Danker

                  "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by tabibito View Post
                    So, letters which are, in their own introductions, attributed to Paul and others can be considered non-Paulian because they include language that is not normal for Paul. Seems legit.
                    Before someone else scoots in here, that was as I said a "brief balanced presentation" which some will call a over-simplification of a complex subject, even though what else would you expect in what is acknowledge as a brief presentation. That article pretty much covers the various points from which anyone interested can expand their search.

                    IMHBAO, any perceived variance in language can easily be, as likely is, explained by discussing about different situations while using different secretaries to write it.

                    The evidence for Colossians not being of Pauline origin is not particularly strong much less convincing.

                    I'm always still in trouble again

                    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                    "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                      Before someone else scoots in here, that was as I said a "brief balanced presentation" which some will call a over-simplification of a complex subject, even though what else would you expect in what is acknowledge as a brief presentation.
                      That is the way most conversations run anyway, brief presentation or not. Addressing the complaints or acknowledging them in advance has become tiresome.

                      That article pretty much covers the various points from which anyone interested can expand their search.
                      Yes, it is quite useful.

                      IMHBAO, any perceived variance in language can easily be, as likely is, explained by discussing about different situations while using different secretaries to write it.
                      Quite so, most people will go some way toward tailoring language to their audience, and Koine Greek is not without a variety of dialects (not so many as English language dialects, it seems). It would usually be pointless for me to refer to a "footpath" when speaking to an American - but otherwise, I would almost never say "sidewalk."

                      The evidence for Colossians not being of Pauline origin is not particularly strong much less convincing.
                      That seems to be a common occurrence.
                      Last edited by tabibito; 05-05-2022, 08:52 PM.
                      1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
                      Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
                      .
                      "when the church no longer teaches its people why they believe what they believe, the world will often step in and fill in the gaps." Ryan Danker

                      "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                        More that there were earlier groups, but it didn't become an actual movement until later.
                        The practise became more widespread following what is commonly termed The Black Death but there were movements prior to the mid 1300s, and these also appear to have arisen during periods of social crisis.

                        Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                        And are you saying that you know that all of the flagellants were getting off sexually from the whippings?
                        I consider it highly likely. The deliberate suppression of sexuality can lead to some very unhealthy behaviours and grotesque perversions of desire. We also know that physical violence such as flagellation may become addictive and provide a deviant version of sexual release..

                        Stories of martyrs and would-be martyrs are self evidently sexualised with the use of erotic language and conjugal references. The desire to unite oneself with God, references to burning zeal, longing, and frustrated passion, and that consecrated virgins would become "brides of Christ" are to be found. Once the risk of martyrdom had ceased with the toleration of Christianity and its later adoption as the state religion, martyrial impulses could find expression by other means with the same zeal and intensity of feeling being diverted into extreme ascetic practises including starvation, sleep deprivation, and the violent physical abuse of the body, in the belief that these things were done in emulation of the suffering of the deity and as a form of sacrifice.

                        All of which is decidedly unhealthy.

                        Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                        Maybe you should find a more accurate term.
                        I consider the term to be highly appropriate for such extreme behaviours.

                        "It ain't necessarily so
                        The things that you're liable
                        To read in the Bible
                        It ain't necessarily so
                        ."

                        Sportin' Life
                        Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                          More that there were earlier groups, but it didn't become an actual movement until later.

                          And are you saying that you know that all of the flagellants were getting off sexually from the whippings?

                          Maybe you should find a more accurate term.
                          H_A's summation seems valid for at least a small subset of the people engaged in the practices, though the number of ascetics doing so might never have reached a majority. Also, not all flagellants were ascetics.
                          1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
                          Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
                          .
                          "when the church no longer teaches its people why they believe what they believe, the world will often step in and fill in the gaps." Ryan Danker

                          "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                            The practise became more widespread following what is commonly termed The Black Death but there were movements prior to the mid 1300s, and these also appear to have arisen during periods of social crisis.

                            I consider it highly likely. The deliberate suppression of sexuality can lead to some very unhealthy behaviours and grotesque perversions of desire. We also know that physical violence such as flagellation may become addictive and provide a deviant version of sexual release..

                            Stories of martyrs and would-be martyrs are self evidently sexualised with the use of erotic language and conjugal references. The desire to unite oneself with God, references to burning zeal, longing, and frustrated passion, and that consecrated virgins would become "brides of Christ" are to be found. Once the risk of martyrdom had ceased with the toleration of Christianity and its later adoption as the state religion, martyrial impulses could find expression by other means with the same zeal and intensity of feeling being diverted into extreme ascetic practises including starvation, sleep deprivation, and the violent physical abuse of the body, in the belief that these things were done in emulation of the suffering of the deity and as a form of sacrifice.

                            All of which is decidedly unhealthy.

                            I consider the term to be highly appropriate for such extreme behaviours.
                            Bluntly, given some of your other posts, and how you tend to link sex and pain, me thinks thou art projecting.

                            I'm always still in trouble again

                            "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                            "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                            "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by tabibito View Post
                              H_A's summation seems valid for at least a small subset of the people engaged in the practices, though the number of ascetics doing so might never have reached a majority. Also, not all flagellants were ascetics.
                              She is once again lining up against scholarship that she pretends to value. While saying that as a movement flagellation didn't start until the 14th cent., the same historians readily acknowledge earlier "outbreaks" (particularly in Italy and to a lesser extent Austria), but they do not consider those instances part of a movement.

                              I'm always still in trouble again

                              "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                              "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                              "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                                She is once again lining up against scholarship that she pretends to value. While saying that as a movement flagellation didn't start until the 14th cent., the same historians readily acknowledge earlier "outbreaks" (particularly in Italy and to a lesser extent Austria), but they do not consider those instances part of a movement.
                                Who precisely are these historians of whom you write?
                                "It ain't necessarily so
                                The things that you're liable
                                To read in the Bible
                                It ain't necessarily so
                                ."

                                Sportin' Life
                                Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                                Comment

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