Franz Joseph Dölger-Institut

zur Erforschung der Spätantike

The Didache as an associational lex. Re-opening the question of the genre(s) of the church orders

JbAC 62 (2019) Seiten: 29-49

Although the term »church orders« is widely used there is no agreement as to its definition. The genre of the Didache is examined in the light of recent discussion, and the conclusion is reached that it should be termed a Christian associational lex. This conclusion is based principally on the grounds of common content and purpose with other ancient non-Christian associational leges, but also to an extent on form. It is then noted that Traditio apostolica manifests the same phenomenon and may similarly be classified as a Christian associational lex. On this basis it is argued that whereas the later church orders form a literary tradition, rather than conforming to a single genre, they originate as associational leges.

Alistair C. Stewart