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Strategic truth: the Didache and the ritualization of confession

  • Author / Creator
    Olfert, Ryan
  • The Didache’s imperatives to confess faults are located in an array of ritual practices similar to that of other Greco-Roman associations. Yet, there are distinctive ways in which each group strategically uses confessional practice within these arrays. In this thesis, I will argue that examining confession in the Didache as practice, in particular through the lens of Catherine Bell’s “ritualization,” exposes how certain activities are being privileged with respect to other activities and how these distinctions are ordered together into wholes that allow for their strategic use, manipulation, and adaptation. Specifically, the Didache utilizes confession in order to link “teaching,” as both oral tradition and written text, with a “way of life.” As a part of this argument, it will be necessary to suggest an extension to Bell’s understanding of the operation of misrecognition within ritualization in order to show how the Didache misrecognizes its own discourse of sacrifice.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2011-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R38M42
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Braun, Willi (Religious Studies)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Stewart, Selina (History and Classics)
    • Landy, Francis (Religious Studies)