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Subintroductae are life partnerships of male and female ascetics without sexual contact (Asceticism; Sexuality). The Greek name for such persons is syneisaktoi/ai or epeisaktoi/ai (= brought together; led in); the English noun derives from Lat. virgo subintroducta. This kind of “spiritual marriage” was found in the early church in the third century (there is no reference in 1 Cor. 7:36–38) and was at first rejected as an offense against ecclesiastical order (Cyprian Ep. 64; 13.5; 14.3; Synod of Elvira, can. 27; Synod of Ancyra, can. 19; Council of Nicaea, can. 3; Councils of the Church). But though the practice seemed to be so incriminating, it became widespread, as we learn from Jerome (ca. 345–420, Ep. 22.14), Ambrose (ca. 339–97, Ep. 70), Basil of Ancyra (d. ca. 365, On Virginity), and especially Chrysostom (ca. 347–407), who wrote two works in opposition.

in The Encyclopedia of Christianity Online
in Der Neue Pauly Online
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in Der Neue Pauly Online
in Brill's New Pauly Online
in Der Neue Pauly Online