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The «Divine Man»

His Origin and Function in Hellenistic Popular Religion

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Gail Peterson Corrington

The concept of the «divine man» theios aner was first formulated as an attempt to understand a particular Christology of the New Testament, that of Jesus as miracle-working Son of God, in its contemporary Hellenistic setting. While some recent New Testament scholarship has accepted the concept, there have also been strong arguments against its existence or usefulness as a paradigm. Both sides have failed to address the milieu in which the concept of the divine man arose and to which it appealed: the popular audiences addressed by the missionaries of the Graeco-Roman world. The present study is an exploration of the beliefs of these audiences and of the divine man as a popular paradigm.
Contents: Description of the context of the «divine man» paradigm, in satire, popular philosophy, popular religiosity (magic), and in Hellenistic missions, especially the Christian.