Ecclesia (2)


(the Church), one of the eight primary Eeons in the system of Valentinus (q.v.), and held to be the archetype of the lower one on earth. The Gnostics likewise had a heavenly Church, but not a distinct being. This notion is evidently a corruption of the Scriptural idea of the heavenly Jerusalem, and tendencies to a fanciful separation of the Church triumphant and the Church militant are noticeable in the Shepherd of Hermas (Vis. 2:4) and in Clement's Second Epistle to the Corinthians (chapter 14).

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