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  • noun

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the heretical doctrine (associated with the Gnostics) that Jesus had no human body and his sufferings and death on the cross were apparent rather than real

References in periodicals archive ?
Christians are practical docetists and monophysites.
In our self-congratulatory piety we become docetists, unable to see that following the Incarnate Christ ipso facto entails the necessity of thinking deeply about the God-ordained character of social life.
The communities to which he writes, apart from Rome, seem to be facing serious doctrinal division, from Judaizers on one side to Docetists on the other.
Or did he simply appear to be human, as the Docetists believed?
As for the Pope's heresy, Manning identifies John Paul II with the second century Docetists, who argued that Jesus was a spirit having only the appearance of a body and therefore only seeming to suffer and die.
It may well be that polymorphy is not necessarily a sign of gnosticism, but it was a feature used by and congenial to docetists.