An opponent of Christian asceticism in the fourth century, condemned as a heretic (390). Our information about him is derived principally from the work of St. Jerome in two books, "Adversus Jovinianum". He was a monk at one time in his life, but subsequently an advocate of anti-ascetical tendencies. He became the head of a party, and in the act condemning him Auxentius, Genialis, Germinator, Felix, Prontinus, Martianus, Januarius and Ingeniosus are designated as his disciples. His views were promulgated in writings which were condemned at a synod held in Rome under Pope Siricius, and subsequently at a synod convened at Milan by St. Ambrose. The writings of Jovinianus were sent to St. Jerome by his friend Pammachius; Jerome replied to them in a long treatise written in 393. From this work it would appear that Jovinianus maintained
- that a virgin as such is no better in the sight of God than a wife;
- abstinence is no better than the partaking of food in the right disposition;
- a person baptized with the Spirit as well as water cannot sin ;
- all sins are equal;
- there is but one grade of punishment and one of reward in the future state.
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