Reciprocal justice : morality and god in the work of Tertullian of Carthage

Randell, Dwane (2012) Reciprocal justice : morality and god in the work of Tertullian of Carthage. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the theology of Tertullian of Carthage as it relates to the concept of 'Reciprocal Justice,' a system of all pervading justice that influences how Tertullian views the relationship between human beings and God, and influences what Tertullian believes to be the very nature of a God worthy of worship. -- The first chapter is an introduction, dealing with basic data concerning Tertullian's life. I speak of the controversy surrounding the identity of his father, believed by many to have been a centurion, the accuracy of the name traditionally given to Tertullian, and whether or not he was a jurist. I also define reciprocal justice and give some examples of it from Tertullian's writings. -- The second chapter discusses the Apology , Tertullian's defense of Christians against the Roman persecutions. Here, I consider the way in which Tertullian sees Christians as the personification of the true justice of the universe, making their persecution unjust by definition. -- Chapter Three begins by looking more closely at the working relationship between human beings and God, starting on God's side. Using Adversus Praxean and Adversus Valentinianos I show that Tertullian believes that only a perfectly moral Creator who is an active and positive force in his followers' lives deserves to be worshiped. -- The final chapter then deals with several of Tertullian's disciplinary works, which illustrate the human side of the relationship with God. Basically, for Tertullian, since Christians have a perfect God, they are expected to emulate him in all they do, which, by definition, demands perfect morals. Nothing else is acceptable. LEC LEC

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/6169
Item ID: 6169
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 107-109).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Religious Studies
Date: 2012
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Tertullian, approximately 160-approximately 230; Christianity and justice--Catholic Church; Christian ethics--Catholic authors; Apologetics--History--Early church, ca. 30-600; God (Christianity)--History of doctrines--Early church, ca. 30-600

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