HTS Theological Studies
On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
DE WET, Chris L.. 'No small counsel about self-control': Enkrateia and the virtuous body as missional performance in 2 Clement. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2013, vol.69, n.1, pp. 1-10. ISSN 2072-8050.
The question this article addresses is how the encratic, virtuous body in 2 Clement 'speaks itself' as a missional performance. It is in essence concerned with the discourses of corporeal virtuosity in 2 Clement. Firstly, the agon motif (2 Clem 7:1-6; 20:1-4) is discussed since it forms the basis metaphor for the understanding of ancient virtue-formation. Secondly, 2 Clement's encratic technologies of soul and flesh as an extension and overamplification, respectively, of the body are examined (2 Clem 9:1-11). In the third instance, the proliferation of visible technologies of the body in 2 Clement are brought into perspective with special emphasis on these technologies as strategies of andromorphism, a crucial element in the understanding of virtue in antiquity (2 Clem 12:1-6). Fourthly, 2 Clement also links concepts of holiness and the pneumatic dimension of spirituality in its argumentation (2 Clem 14:1-5). This needs to be understood in the light of corporeal virtuosity. Finally, the concepts of suffering (2 Clem 19:3-4), martyrdom (2 Clem 5:1-7) and the apocalyptic anti-spectacle (2 Clem 17:1-7) are central in 2 Clement's formulations of the missional performance and are therefore clarified. The intersection of these discourses is where the virtuous body in 2 Clement speaks itself as a missional performance. The study concludes by looking at the implications of the findings for understanding early Christian missionality.