Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Apostasy, derived from Greek ἀποστασία or Latin apostasia, is the technical term for the renunciation of faith. Based on the Greek etymology of the word, late antiquity considers that a person who “turns away” or “backs away” from God has abandoned the faith (see Clem. Strom.; Greg. Nyss. Eun. 3 3.10.16; Hornung, 2016, 13). Often used in a broad sense in literary texts, the concept of apostasy…

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Hornung, Christian, “Apostasy/Apostates”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 08 June 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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