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Related to Docetistic: Gnosticism, Arianism, Monophysitism


 (dō-sē′tĭz′əm, dō′sə-tĭz′əm)
The belief, especially associated with the Gnostics, that Jesus had no human body and only appeared to have died on the cross.

[Probably from Late Greek Dokētai, espousers of Docetism, from Greek dokein, to seem; see dek- in Indo-European roots.]

Do·ce′tist n.


(Ecclesiastical Terms) (in the early Christian Church) a heresy that the humanity of Christ, his sufferings, and his death were apparent rather than real
[C19: from Medieval Latin Docētae, from Greek Dokētai, from dokein to seem]


(doʊˈsi tɪz əm, ˈdoʊ sɪˌtɪz-)

an early Christian heresy asserting that the sufferings of Christ were apparent and not real.
[1840–50; < Late Greek dokē(taí) (pl. of dokētḗs one who professes the heresy of appearance) < Greek dokē-, variant s. of dokeîn to seem, appear (compare dogma)]
Do•ce′tic, adj.
Do•ce′tist, n., adj.


a very early heretical belief that held that Christ’s body was not material or real, but only the appearance of a body. — Docetae, n. pl.
See also: Heresy
the teaching of an early heretical sect asserting that Christ’s body was not human or material, but celestial in substance. — Docetic, adj.
See also: Christ
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Docetism - the heretical doctrine (associated with the Gnostics) that Jesus had no human body and his sufferings and death on the cross were apparent rather than real
heresy, unorthodoxy - a belief that rejects the orthodox tenets of a religion
theological doctrine - the doctrine of a religious group
References in periodicals archive ?
it nourishes and preserves our souls" and is "[t]he true bread of remembrance." (86) Marpeck nevertheless affirmed, though at times awkwardly, that the human existence of Christ does not negate that he is "without beginning and from eternity the everlasting God and Spirit," and neither does his issuance from the Theotokos suggest that Christ was "not newly created but was [instead] born of pre-created (vorgeschoepften) flesh of human generation in the body of Mary." (87) Indeed, Marpeck employed the testimony of the "ancient theologians" to assure Schwenckfeld, whose docetistic minimization of Christ's humanity meant a preoccupation with his divinity, that his "description of the mystery of Christ's incarnation is not to take anything away from Christ's glory." (88)
Stearns relates that in destroying the Jonang, the Gelug theocracy of the mid-seventeenth century not only forcibly converted the main monastery, with its monks, curriculum, and rituals--it also forced the chief scholar and teacher, Taranatha, to take rebirth in Mongolia as a Gelug "reborn lama," However, it appears that later generations of Gelug theocrats cared less about heresy (or political rivalry) and this docetistic (as I would characterize it) practice survived in and around the old monastery of Jonang, especially in the large community of nuns, Stearns' discovery of such historical details is formidable; unfortunately, the work of nuns did not get published often in Tibet.