Original Research - Special Collection: James Alfred Loader Dedication

‘No small counsel about self-control’: Enkrateia and the virtuous body as missional performance in 2 Clement

Chris L. de Wet
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 69, No 1 | a1340 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1340 | © 2013 Chris L. de Wet | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 October 2012 | Published: 13 May 2013

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Chris L. de Wet, Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies, University of South Africa, South Africa


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Abstract

The question this article addresses is how the encratic, virtuous body in 2 Clement ‘speaks itself’ as a missional performance. It is in essence concerned with the discourses of corporeal virtuosity in 2 Clement. Firstly, the agon motif (2 Clem 7:1−6; 20:1−4) is discussed since it forms the basis metaphor for the understanding of ancient virtue-formation. Secondly, 2 Clement’s encratic technologies of soul and flesh as an extension and overamplification, respectively, of the body are examined (2 Clem 9:1−11). In the third instance, the proliferation of visible technologies of the body in 2 Clement are brought into perspective with special emphasis on these technologies as strategies of andromorphism, a crucial element in the understanding of virtue in antiquity (2 Clem 12:1−6). Fourthly, 2 Clement also links concepts of holiness and the pneumatic dimension of spirituality in its argumentation (2 Clem 14:1−5). This needs to be understood in the light of corporeal virtuosity. Finally, the concepts of suffering (2 Clem 19:3−4), martyrdom (2 Clem 5:1−7) and the apocalyptic anti-spectacle (2 Clem 17:1−7) are central in 2 Clement’s formulations of the missional performance and are therefore clarified. The intersection of these discourses is where the virtuous body in 2 Clement speaks itself as a missional performance. The study concludes by looking at the implications of the findings for understanding early Christian missionality.

Keywords

Second Clement; encratism; enkrateia; virtue; corporeality; missionality; apostolic fathers

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