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Christus in natura

Quellen, Hermeneutik und Rezeption des Physiologus

[Christus in natura. Sources, Hermeneutics and Reception of the Physiologus]

Ed. by Kindschi Garský, Zbyněk / Hirsch-Luipold, Rainer

Funded by Schweizerischer Nationalfonds (SNF)

Series:Studies of the Bible and Its Reception (SBR) 11

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Publication Date:
November 2019
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The Physiologus and the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles

Spittler, Janet


Animals play prominent roles in the apocryphal acts of the apostles, and the authors of these texts seem to have drawn on natural historical information similar to what is found in the Physiologus. Nevertheless, the relationship between the acts and the Physiologus is complicated and often puzzling. There is at least one instance in which the apocryphal acts (the Acts of Thomas) clearly presuppose information about an animal (the wild ass) also presented in the Physiologus, as well as two instances in which the Physiologus refers to a character from the apocryphal acts (Thecla). Otherwise, the most striking result of comparing the acts with the Physiologus is the absence of clearly coinciding material. Relatively few animals occur in both the Physiologus and the acts, and, when they do, there is little, if any, overlap in content. This paper will detail the points of contact between the Physiologus and the apocryphal acts, as well as the absence of contact where such could easily be imagined. Ultimately, I will show that the Physiologus and the apocryphal acts of the apostles exhibit a similar attitude toward the natural world and the use of similar source material, but the exact relationship between these texts remains obscure.

Citation Information

Janet Spittler (2019). The Physiologus and the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles. In Zbyněk Kindschi Garský, Rainer Hirsch-Luipold (Eds.), Christus in natura: Quellen, Hermeneutik und Rezeption des Physiologus (pp. 149–158). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110494143-012

Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110494143

Online ISBN: 9783110494143

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston. BY-NC-ND 4.0 This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.

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