The Salvation of the Flesh in Tertullian of Carthage: Dressing for the Resurrection

The Salvation of the Flesh in Tertullian of Carthage : Dressing for the Resurrection
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http://mfylaktos.gr/images/519.php Not that I am specially entitled to exhort you. Yet, even the most accomplished gladiators are spurred on not only by their trainers and managers but also from afar by people inexperienced in this are and by all who choose, without the slightest need for it, with the result that hints issuing from the crowd have often proved profitable for them. For, if He had not accompanied you there in your present trial, you would not be there today.

See to it, therefore, that He remain with you there and so lead you out of that place to the Lord. But you have come to the prison for the purpose of trampling upon him right in his own house. For you have engaged him in battle already outside the prison and trampled him underfoot.

Do not allow him the good fortune in his own kingdom of setting you against one another, but let him find you fortified by the arms of peace among yourselves, because peace among yourselves means war with him. Some, not able to find this peace in the Church, are accustomed to seek it from the martyrs in prison. For this reason, too, then, you ought to possess, cherish and preserve it among yourselves that you may perhaps be able to bestow it upon others also.

Other attachments, equally burdensome to the spirit, may have accompanied you to the prison gate; so far your relatives, too, may have escorted you. From that very moment on you have been separated from the very world. How much more, then, from its spirit and its ways and doings? Nor let this separation from the world that is more truly a prison, we shall realize that you have left a prison rather than entered one. The world puts on the heavier chains, fettering the very souls of men. The world breathes forth the fouler impurities—human lusts.

Finally, the world contains the larger number of criminals, namely the entire human race. In fact, it awaits sentence not from the proconsul but from God. Wherefore, O blessed, consider yourselves as having been transferred from prison to what we may call a place of safety. Darkness is there, but you are the light; fetters are there, but you are free before God.

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It breathes forth a foul smell, but you are an odor of sweetness. There the judge is expected at every moment, but you are going to pass sentence upon the judges themselves. There sadness may come upon the man who sighs for the pleasures of the world. The Christian, however, even when he is outside the prison, has renounced the world, and, when in prison, even prison itself. It does not matter what part of the world you are in, you who are apart from the world. And if you have missed some of the enjoyments of life, remember that it is the way of business to suffer some losses in order to make larger profits.

I say nothing yet about the reward to which God invites the martyrs. Meanwhile, let us compare the life in the world with that in prison to see if the spirit does not gain more in prison than the flesh loses there. In fact, owing to the solicitude of the Church and the charity of the brethren, the flesh does not miss there what it ought to have, while, in addition, the spirit obtains what is always beneficial to the faith: you do not look at strange gods; you do not chance upon their images; you do not, even by mere physical contact, participate in heathen holidays; you are not plagued by the foul fumes of the sacrificial banquets, not tormented by the noise of the spectacles, nor by the atrocity or frenzy or shamelessness of those taking part in the celebrations; your eyes do not fall on houses of lewdness; you are free from inducements to sin, from temptations, from unholy reminiscences, free, indeed, even from persecution.

The prison now offers to the Christian what the desert once gave to the Prophets. Our Lord Himself quite often spent time in solitude to pray there more freely, to be there away from the world. In fact, it was in a secluded place that He manifested His glory to His disciples. Though the body is confined, though the flesh is detained, there is nothing that is not open to the spirit. In spirit wander about, in spirit take a walk, setting before yourselves not shady promenades and long porticoes but that path which leads to God. As often as you walk that path, you will not be in prison.

The leg does not feel the fetter when the spirit is in heaven. The spirit carries about the whole man and brings him wherever he wishes. And where your heart is, there will your treasure be also. There, then, let our heart be where we would have our treasure.

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Granted now, O blessed, that even to Christians the prison is unpleasant—yet, we were called to the service in the army of the living God in the very moment when we gave response to the words of the sacramental oath. No soldier goes out to war encumbered with luxuries, nor does he march to the line of battle from the sleeping chamber, but from light and cramped tents where every kind of austerity, discomfort, and inconvenience is experienced.

The Doctrine of Salvation

Even in time of peace soldiers are toughened to warfare by toils and hardships: by marching in arms, by practicing swift maneuvers in the field, by digging a trench, by joining closely together to form a tortoise-shield. Everything is set in sweating toil, lest bodies and minds be frightened at having to pass from shade to sunshine, from sunshine to icy cold, from the tunic to the breastplate, from hushed silence to the war cry, from rest to the din of battle. In like manner, O blessed, consider whatever is hard in your present situation as an exercise of your powers of mind and body.

You are about to enter a noble contest in which the living God acts the part of superintendent and the Holy Spirit is your trainer, a contest whose crown is eternity, whose prize is angelic nature, citizenship in heaven and glory for ever and ever. And so your Master, Jesus Christ, who has anointed you with His Spirit and has brought you to this training ground, has resolved, before the day of the contest, to take you from a softer way of life to a harsher treatment that your strength may be increased.

For athletes, too, are set apart for more rigid training that they may apply themselves to the building up of their physical strength. They are kept from lavish living, from more tempting dishes, from more pleasurable drinks. They are urged on, they are subjected to torturing toils, they are worn out: the more strenuously they have exerted themselves, the greater is their hope of victory.

And they do this, says the Apostle, to win a perishable crown.

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We who are about to win an eternal one recognize in the prison our training ground, that we may be led forth to the actual contest before the seat of the presiding judge well practiced in all hardships, because strength is built up by austerity, but destroyed by softness. For it was on purpose that He first declared the spirit willing: He wanted to show which of the two ought to be subject to the other, that is to say, that the flesh should be submissive to the spirit, the weaker to the stronger, so that the former draw strength from the latter.

Let the sprit converse with the flesh on their common salvation, no longer thinking about the hardships of prison but, rather, about the struggle of the actual contest. But let the spirit present to both itself and the flesh the other side of the picture: granted, these sufferings are grievous, yet many have borne them patiently, nay, have even sought them on their own accord for the sake of fame and glory; and this is true not only of men but also of women so that you, too, O blessed women, may be worthy of your sex.

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It would lead me too far were I to enumerate each one of those who, led by the impulse of their own mind, put an end to their lives by the sword. Among women there is the well-known instance of Lucretia.

A victim of violence, she stabbed herself in the presence of her kinsfolk to gain glory for her chastity. Mucius burnt his right hand on the altar that his fair fame might include this deed. Nor did the philosophers act less courageously: Heraclitus, for instance, who put an end to his life by smearing himself with cow dung; Empedocles, too, who leaped down into the fires of Mt. Etna; and Peregrinus who not long ago threw himself upon a funeral pile.

Regulus, a Roman general, was taken prisoner by the Carhaginians, but refused to be the only Roman exchanged for a large number of Carthaginian captives. He preferred to be returned to the enemy, and, crammed into a kind of chest, suffered as many crucifixions as nails were driven in from the outside in all directions to pierce him. A woman voluntarily sought out wild beasts, namely, vipers, serpents more horrible than either bull or bear, which Cleopatra let loose upon herself as not to fall into the hands of the enemy.

For, being privy to a conspiracy, she was subjected to torture by the tyrant. In this sacred rite all the noble youth are scourged with whips before the altar, while their parents and kinsfolk stand by and exhort them to perseverance. For they regard it as a mark of greater distinction and glory if the soul rather than the body has submitted to the stripes.

Therefore, if earthly glory accruing from strength of body and soul is valued so highly that one despises sword, fire, piercing with nails, wild beasts and tortures for the reward of human praise, then I may say the sufferings you endure are but trifling in comparison with the heavenly glory and divine reward. I am an Associate Professor of Religion at Concordia University, where I teach courses in the history of Christianity, biblical studies, and women, gender and sexuality in Religion.

Karen L.

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King edit. Tertullian's four writings on marriage two letters " To His Wife, " " Exhortation to Chastity, " and " On Monogamy " have often disturbed his modern readers.

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Examines Tertullian of Carthage's ( C.E.) writings on dress within Roman vestimentary culture. It employs a socio-historical The Salvation of the Flesh in Tertullian of Carthage. Dressing for the Resurrection. Authors: Daniel-Hughes. Editorial Reviews. Review. "Carly Daniel-Hughes has decisively shown that Tertullian s The Salvation of the Flesh in Tertullian of Carthage: Dressing for the Resurrection - Kindle edition by C. Daniel-Hughes. Download it once and read it on.

In them, he does not applaud marital monogamy, but suggests that sexual In them, he does not applaud marital monogamy, but suggests that sexual intercourse and childbearing are ungodly, potentially damning enterprises. This paper aims to situate these treatises in conversation with his soteriology. It shows how these writings register tensions that emerge in his claim that the fleshly body will endure in the resurrection, but sexual desire will not.

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Sexual difference, it argues, is at once central to his soteriological equation, and yet one that exceeds his attempts to define it. Tracing Tertullian's view of salvation of the flesh, this paper in particular illustrates how his persistent coding of the flesh as feminine works to retain sexual difference, and leads to his promotion of " monogamy, " and not as we might expect, virginity, as the figure of the resurrected life.

The paper reveals that when early Christian theorizing about the resurrected body not only had to negotiate the complexities that the sexually differentiated body implied, but also had potentially broad implications to authorize or undermine particular conceptions of gender roles as well as social and familial arrangements.

Save to Library. PDF more. The past two decades have witnessed a proliferation of scholarship on dress in the ancient world. These recent studies have established the extent to which Greece and Rome were vestimentary cultures, and they have demonstrated the Despite this emerging interest in ancient dress, little work has been done to understand religious aspects and uses of dress.

Rethinking public religion: Word, image, sound

Enter the email address you signed up with and we'll email you a reset link. So truly is this the fact, that if you withdraw the skin, you lay bare the flesh. These recent studies have established the extent to which Greece and Rome were vestimentary cultures, and they have demonstrated the John something else! To the flesh? The law which makes us die is the cause of our being born.

This volume aims to fill this gap by examining a diverse range of religious sources, including literature, art, performance, coinage, economic markets, and memories. Employing theoretical frames from a range of disciplines, contributors to the volume demonstrate how dress developed as a topos within Judean and Christian rhetoric, symbolism, and performance from the first century BCE to the fifth century CE.

Specifically, they demonstrate how religious meanings were entangled with other social logics, revealing the many layers of meaning attached to ancient dress, as well as the extent to which dress was implicated in numerous domains of ancient religious life. Why did the influential Christian thinker, Tertullian of Carthage C.

Why did he care what Christians wore?