Docetism


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Related to Docetism: Monophysitism, Arianism, Gnosticism

Docetism

(dōsēt`ĭzəm) [Gr.,=to appear], early heretical trend in Christian thought. Docetists claimed that Christ was a mere phantasm who only seemed to live and suffer. A similar tendency to deny Jesus' humanity appeared in the teachings of Simon Magus, Marcion, Gnosticism, and certain phases of monarchianism.
References in periodicals archive ?
There is evidence in the Gospel and/or Letters for the influence of Gnosticism, Docetism, and some of the variant forms of Judaism, he agrees, but not all the evidence suggests the same background.
Docetism obliterates the significance of the Cross by demoting it to a mere way station along the divine progress of Jesus.
A theology of the polis that is not mere docetism would then have to articulate the stance of faith in relationship to that conflict.
The heresy was called Gnosticism that, in one of its earliest forms, Docetism, denied Jesus' real humanity and, thus, his actual suffering and death.
Gnosticism had much in common with an even earlier heresy, Docetism (from a Greek word that means "to seem").
That God equals Christ is no more true than that Christ equals human; both lead to the earliest of Christian heresies, docetism or Ebionitism.
The Excursus on Docetism describes at some length the evidence for this doctrine and its development.
The meaning of the church's resistance against docetism, gnosticism and all the heresies and theological issues that were settled in the ecumenical councils, was its conviction that Christ remains wholly transcendent to, but at the same time immanent and present in the world.
John, his favorite Gospel writer, is already more theologian than historian, using his portrayal of Jesus' life and teaching to combat, in the first Christian century, the incipient heresy of Docetism.
Irenaeus coined the term gnostikoi, those capable of learning, to identify various schools making this claim, some of whom also claimed certain other perspectives, including docetism (Christ appeared to have been human with a human body and to have died on the cross); a tri-fold hierarchical theological anthropology in which humans fell into the classes of pneumatic (spiritual), psychic (ensouled), or hylic (material); and a spiritualized soteriology that denied the resurrection of the body and assured salvation for the pneumatics alone.
Throughout the book the careful language of theology, which avoids implications of mutation in God and docetism in Jesus, is not in evidence.
If that is the case, the Christian sense of the Body of Christ loses its assurance as a cosmic and historical reality, and veers toward a new kind of docetism.