Religion Past and Present

Get access

(1,720 words)

[German Version]

Marcion (c. 85 – c. 160) was the most successful heretic of the 2nd century; when the Catholic Church rejected him, he set up his own alternative church, for which he claimed catholicity. Marcion came from Pontus, probably from Sinope on the Black Sea. By profession he was a ship-owner and maritime trader. Otherwise his biographical tradition is colored by its anti-heretical sources. Early theological conflicts in Asia Minor are historically dubious. His excommunication by his own father, the bishop of Sinope, for seducing a virgin is certainly fictional (Epiph. Haer.

Cite this page
May, Gerhard, “Marcion/Marcionites”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 14 April 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

▲   Back to top   ▲