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The Origin of SinAn English Translation of the "Hamartigenia"$
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Aurelius Prudentius Clemens

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801442223

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801442223.001.0001

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Falling into Language

Falling into Language

Chapter:
(p.96) 4. Falling into Language
Source:
The Origin of Sin
Author(s):

Prudentius

, Martha A. Malamud
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801442223.003.0005

This chapter presents Marcion's poem, which introduced God as the one responsible for evil. Aurelius Prudentius Clemens wrote a counteroffensive on this insidious concept in a segment of the Hamartigenia by using dialectica to associate Marcion with the dialectic reasoning typical of ancient philosophy. In this dialectical process, truth is approached through a series of arguments and counterarguments. Prudentius uses the rhetorical devices of prosopopoeia (giving Marcion a voice) and apostrophe (responding in propria persona to Marcion's speech) to present Marcion's argument as part of a dialectic process. He argues that rational argument has led Marcion to a false conclusion—phrenesis manifesta or obvious madness—by saying that the true identity of Marcion's Creator God cannot be derived through the logic of dialectic, and must rather be derived through faith.

Keywords:   Marcion, Aurelius Prudentius Clemens, Hamartigenia, dialectica, dialectic reasoning, prosopopoeia, apostrophe, phrenesis manifesta

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