Materiality and the sensation of sin in Late Antique pre-baptismal rituals : the short-lived "Rite of the Cilicium"

Variant title
Materialita hříchu a jeho smyslové prožívání v pozdně antických předkřestních rituálech : krátký život "obřadu cilicia"
Source document: Convivium. 2021, vol. 8, iss. Supplementum 3, pp. [114]-127
  • ISSN
    2336-3452 (print)
    2336-808X (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
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Critical in Christian initiation rituals in Late Antiquity were rituals that effected the candidate's rejection of sin and influence of the devil so that the supplicant might be freed to commit his/her allegiance to Christ. These rites took place in the final, intense period of preparation during Lent, as well as immediately preceding immersion in the baptismal font. At the end of the fourth and early fifth centuries in (Antioch or) Mopsuestia, in Constantinople, and in North Africa, a new element was briefly added to the ritual: the candidate stood or knelt on the cilicium, a coarse cloth of goat hair. In re-examining the rituals involving the cilicium and its theological rationales, this paper suggests how the significance of acts of renunciation was reinforced by physical, sensory experience.
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