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(396 words)

[German Version]

The term “aretalogy” is used by some New Testament scholars to designate a literary genre. The word is based on the Greek ἀρετή/aretḗ, meaning “goodness,” “excellence” of any kind and “marvelous deed.” The word “aretalogy” first occurred in the article “Aretalogoi” by Crusius, published in 1896. It was taken up by R. Reitzenstein, who claimed that Lucian of Samosata wrote True Stories and The Lover of Lies (Philopseudes) as parodies of a literary genre that could be called “aretalogy.” He understood this genre as a collection of (false) miracle…

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Collins, Adela Yarbro, “Aretalogy”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 24 May 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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