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The New Prophecy & "New Visions": Evidence of Montanism in the Passion of Perpetua And Felicitas (Patristic Monograph Series) [Hardcover]

By Rex D. Butler (Author)
Our Price $ 38.21  
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Item Number 140425  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   211
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.76" Width: 6.46" Height: 0.89"
Weight:   1.01 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 31, 2006
Publisher   Catholic University of America Press
ISBN  0813214556  
EAN  9780813214559  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas, a precious document from the early church, reported the imprisonment and martyrdom of six Carthaginian Christians in 203. Embedded in this work is the personal diary of Perpetua, which is the earliest extant writing known to be penned by a Christian woman. A beatific vision recorded by her teacher, Saturus, is also included along with an unnamed editor's eyewitness account of the martyrs' contest with wild beasts and their ultimate execution.

Throughout the Passion, there are several remarkable emphases: the Holy Spirit's activity, prophecies and visions, women's leadership, eschatological expectation, zeal for martyrdom, and prerogatives awarded to confessors. These emphases bring to mind the tenets of Montanism, a Spirit-based movement that began in Asia Minor in the second century and spread rapidly to the west, where it found its greatest advocate in Tertullian of Carthage. The relationship of the Passion to Montanism, important as a forerunner of modern-day Pentecostalism and the charismatic movement, has been debated since the document was rediscovered in the seventeenth century.

In this book, Rex D. Butler examines the Passion for evidence of Montanism and proposes that its three authors---Perpetua, Saturus, and the unnamed editor---were Montanists. Although many scholars have discussed both sides of this issue, this work is the most extensive investigation to date.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The Publishing Event of the Year in Biblical History  Apr 22, 2006
If there is a bit of irony in my review title, so be it. This book is based on a Phd. dissertation that caught the attention of William Tabernee. Tabernee was working on Montanist archealogy, and along came this. How the connection was made, I do not know. However, what we get here is a closely reasoned academic monograph that is not exactly in tune with Roman Orthodoxy. The author, Dr. Bulter, teaches at the Southwestern Baptist Seminary. The book was published by the Catholic University of America Press. That combination was enough to get me to fork up a substantial amount of money for this slim volume.

By the numbers, including all the scholarly work on the topic from the sources of the 19th Century, the author makes his points. He misses nothing that I know of, and his work takes into account all the sources that you and I cannot lay our hands on. Priced by the footnote, this book is probably a massive bargin. The bibliography of ancient and secondary works on the topic is complete as of the present. The conclusions drawn are clear. The entire orginal document on the passion of Perpetua and Felicita is a Montanist writing in all its three parts. This is argued beyond a doubt based on current scholarly knowledge.

The Roman Church has a great deal to answer for as regards the modification of Primitive Christianity to suit its episcopal needs. That the C.U.A. published this is refreshing. And, the book convincingly pushes the perception of the gifts of the Holy Spirit up into the middle of the 3rd Century B.C.E. This is a must read for anyone interested in the historical manifestations of the Holy Spirit in early Christianity. For indeed, it was "Christianity" that this book is speaking of by the late Second Century CE. And, by this time, the Roman Church had institutional needs of its own. The distortion of the legacy of Perpetua and Felicita to meet the needs of the patriachcal Roman Church and its cessationist position is clearly explicated in this essential work.

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