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Title: La situation de communication de l'Exégèse de l'âme (NH II, 6)
Subtitle: Une analyse rhétorique
Author(s): DRITSAS BIZIER, Moa
Journal: Le Muséon
Volume: 123    Issue: 3-4   Date: 2010   
Pages: 287-315
DOI: 10.2143/MUS.123.3.2062387

Abstract :
Focusing mainly on the so-called Gnostic character of the tractate, previous research on the sixth tractate of Codex II of Nag Hammadi, the Exegesis of the Soul (ExSoul) allows limited understanding of its addressees, aiming and doctrinal context. The astonishing heterogeneous composition of this tractate rises however the question of its function as a literary work. Indeed, this account of the soul’s journey, from its downfall into this world to its return to its place of origin, combines a philosophical trend with several biblical and Homeric quotations. The narrative of the soul is also accompanied by exhortations to repentance that culminate in a final parenetic section. This study of the ExSoul is guided by the rules of Graeco-Roman rhetoric as exposed in various manuals of antiquity and as understood by modern specialists in order to understand the role of its various materials and to identify the general function of the tractate. Such an analysis allows me to formulate the hypothesis by which ExSoul would be a catechetic homily intended for the instruction and the preparation of converts of pagan origin, for their integration to Christianity by there baptism.

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