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date: 22 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter surveys some interpretative techniques employed by early Christian writers to encourage ascetic renunciation, especially renunciation of marriage and reproduction. These authors, gearing their messages to different audiences, sought to mine passages from both the Old Testament and the New to advance their cause. By use of different exegetical techniques (e.g. intertextual exegesis; appeal to ‘the difference in times’; ‘close reading’), they wrested ascetic meaning from often-recalcitrant scriptural passages. The chapter concludes with some examples of ascetic exegesis from Syrian authors.

Keywords: allegory, asceticism, audience, figurative exegesis, intertextuality, marriage, reproduction, Syriac exegesis

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