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A term of opprobrium used by tertullian as a montanist to describe Catholics whom he accused of laxness in fasting and in forgiving sins against purity (De pudicitia 1.10; 6.14; 10.8; 16.24; 18.2; 21.16). In Greek ψυχυικοí, and in Latin psychici, the word is taken from St. Paul (1 Cor 2.14), where it means the "natural" man as opposed to the "spiritual" (πνευματικός) man. But Tertullian, who employed the word also in his Adversus Marcionem (4.22), De monogamia (1.1), De jejuniis (1.1), and Adversus Praxean (1.6), understood it as signifying "materialminded," a meaning similar to that previously given to it by certain Gnostic sects.

Bibliography: Tertullian, De paenitentia, ed. and tr. p. de labriolle (Paris 1906) 138143; Adversus Praxean, ed. and tr. e. evans (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge; 1948) 187188; Treatises on Penance, ed. and tr. w. p. le saint (Ancient Christian Writers 28; 1959) 194195.

[f. hauser]

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