Sacramentum Mundi Online

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(929 words)

Docetism is an effort to interpret the incarnation and life of Jesus in the framework of dualism. It holds that Christ had only an apparent body (δοϰέω, seem or appear) and therefore denies various dogmas bearing on the Incarnation. At the birth of Christianity, the dualism of Gnosis was widespread in the Graeco-Roman world. The clash with Christianity gave rise to a series of heresies that claimed to offer a rational explanation of the mystery of Christ. It was a basic assumption of all these h…

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Enrique Fabri, “Docetism”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 01 October 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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