The Patristic Reception and Interpretation of John 17:21. A Case Study: Jovinian vs Jerome

in Christian Discourse in Late Antiquity


This paper explores the controversy that arose around Jovinian’s figure and teaching in 4th century Rome. By paying close attention to the relevant sources, and elaborating the historical context, I aim to sharpen our understanding of the impact and import of his theology. To this end, I also investigate how the special use of John 17:21, both in Jovinian’s works and Jerome’s Adversus Jovinianum, reveals that Jovinian was not merely interested in marriage/sexuality, as scholars have often presented him, but also in the definition of a new ecclesiological model.

Christian Discourse in Late Antiquity

Hermeneutical, institutional and textual perspectives


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