Abstract

In this article I examine the theme of illness, health, and healing in the fourth-century Egyptian text, the Canons of Hippolytus. The study seeks to discover what may be distinctive in the Canons as a later reworking of the text known as the Apostolic Tradition. I explore the theme in the Canons under the headings of: (1) the general ministry to the sick by all members of the local church community; (2) the ministry to the sick by those with a charismatic gift of healing; and (3) the ministry to the sick by the bishop and other church leaders. I go on to argue in the light of this analysis that there is a stronger degree of emphasis on this theme in the community that produced the Canons than in other Christian communities outside Egypt for which we have evidence. And I suggest that when this evidence is coupled with evidence from an analysis of the theme in the Egyptian Sacramentary of Sarapion (or Prayers of Sarapion), it may indicate a feature of Christian life that is distinctive to Egypt in terms of the level of interest in, and concern for, this theme in that part of the Christian world in the third and particularly the fourth century.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3184
Print ISSN
1067-6341
Pages
pp. 137-164
Launched on MUSE
2005-06-21
Open Access
No
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