(210AD) Minucius Felix’s estimation of reincarnation is most evident in the 34th chapter of this work. Here, and in the chapter that follows, Octavius, the advocate of Christianity, responds to the challenges given to him by Caecilius in chapter 11. Both of these arguments will be relevant in the attempt to establish the historic view of the early Christian Church on the doctrine of reincarnation.

When Caecilius challenges the prospect of a bodily resurrection he establishes two significant facts, undisputed by Octavius: that Christians believe in the resurrection of the dead, and that they believe in a judgement after death with eternal consequences. Caecilius makes no mention of a Christian belief in reincarnation, nor does he suggest one as a central tenet of Christianity. Although he does not deny this doctrine to Christians outright, his testimony on the Christian view of judgement and punishment after death leaves little room for other forms of judgement or punishment.

The reply of Octavius confirms the indications given by Caecilius. Though Octavius merely passes over the Pythagorean doctrine of transmigration in the 19th chapter, (as he demonstrates the divergence of the opinions of the heathen philosophers,) he handles the issue directly in the 34th chapter. Octavius plainly considers the doctrine of reincarnation to be an imitation of the truth of the resurrection and the broadening of this doctrine to include transmigrations into animals as farcical at best.

The doctrines of the resurrection, judgement, and punishment are confirmed and defended by Octavius, while the grounds for the necessity of reincarnation are completely undermined in the 35th chapter. The combination of these evidences clearly demonstrate an early Christian viewpoint that wholly excludes and opposes the theory of reincarnation.

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