1st Edition

Christian Politics and Religious Culture in Late Antiquity

ISBN 9780754659921
Published September 28, 2009 by Routledge
334 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

These essays deal with two central preoccupations: the new styles of political behaviour developed by Christian rulers and Christian congregations during the century or so after Constantine's conversion, and the experiments in religious self-presentation which are reflected in our sources from the same period. The first topic is covered in papers dealing with such activities as outbursts of popular rioting and exhibitions of imperial penance, and with legislation by emperors and lobbying by bishops; the second in papers on the inscriptions erected by pagan aristocrats, on the self-images presented by Christian autobiographers, and on the motives behind Christian anthologizing. The two themes converge in the central section, focusing on Gregory Nazianzen. These papers are conceived as preliminary studies for a forthcoming book which will analyse his involvement in local and imperial politics, and the resourcefulness of his successive exercises in self-advertisement. They show him involving himself in family disputes, civic life and literary culture, reshaping the legacy of his friend Basil and shaping his own identity as an independent holy man, beyond reach of his obligations to family, city and church

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Part A Religious/Christian Politics: The transformation of imperial churchgoing in the 4th century; Christian controversy and violence in the 4th century; 'Genere hispanus': Theodosius, Spain and Nicene orthodoxy; Augustine's Roman Empire. Part B Gregory Nazianzen: Cultural Politics in Christian Cappadocia: A self-made holy man: the case of Gregory Nazianzen; The other Olympias: Gregory Nazianzen and the family of Vitalianus; Gregory Nazianzen's Basil: the literary construction of a Christian friendship; Among the hellenists: Gregory and the sophists; Curiales into churchmen: the case of Gregory Nazianzen. Part C Religious Culture: What was the 'Philocalia of Origen'?; The 4th-century Taurobolium; Disciplines of discipleship in late antique education: Augustine and Gregory Nazianzen; Paulinus the Impenitent: a study of the eucharisticos; Index.

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Neil McLynn is University Lecturer in Later Roman History and Fellow of Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford, UK


’Neil B. McLynn’s book on politics and culture in late antiquity is an invaluable resource tool, offering a rare glimpse of Christian history during the fourth century. ... His work is well researched, amply cited, and should be viewed as a treasure trove of information regarding an often misunderstood period of early Christianity.’ Catholic Books Review