The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5)

A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics

Paul Linjamaa, Brill: Leyde, 2019


In The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5) Paul Linjamaa offers the first full length thematical monograph on the longest Valentinian text extant today. By investigating the ethics of The Tripartite Tractate, this study offers in-depth exploration of the text’s ontology, epistemology, theory of will, and passions, as well as the anthropology and social setting of the text. Valentinians have often been associated with determinism, which has been presented as “Gnostic” and then not taken seriously, or been disregarded as an invention of ancient intra-Christian polemics. Linjamaa challenges this conception and presents insights into how early Christian determinism actually worked, and how it effectively sustained viable and functioning ethics.

(Text from the publisher) 

Table of contents 

Introduction  1-44

Part 1 Theoretical Framework for Ethics  47-155

Chapter 1 The Ontological and Epistemological Foundations for Ethics

Chapter 2 Emotions, Demons, and Moral Ability

Chapter 3 Free Will and the Configuration of the Human Mind

Part 2 Ethics in Practice  159-256

Chapter 4 Natural Human Categories and Moral Progress

Chapter 5 School or Church? Teaching, Learning, and the Community Structure

Chapter 6 Honor and Attitudes toward Social and Political Involvement

Part 3 Conclusions and Implications 259-271

Chapter 7 Summary: the Nature of Early Christian Determinism


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