An Age of Saints? Power, Conflict and Dissent in Early by Peter Sarris, Matthew Dal Santo, Phil Booth

By Peter Sarris, Matthew Dal Santo, Phil Booth

The papers gathered during this quantity discover the innovations during which Christian gurus during the early medieval global either validated and expressed their social place, whereas while drawing cognizance to the moments while those self same strategies have been resisted and challenged. the place past experiences of Christianisation have for the main half approached the difficulty of dissent throughout the persevered lifestyles of paganism and some of the Christian heresies, this quantity means that the adventure of doubt in the direction of, and articulation of resistance to, the claims of Christian leaders prolonged a ways outdoors the circles of pagan intellectuals and dissident theologians. the result's a view of Christianisation as way more piecemeal, advanced and incomplete than has frequently been acknowledged.Contributors comprise Peter Turner, Peter Kritzinger, Collin Garbarino, Philip wooden, Ralph Lee, Richard Payne, Mike Humphreys, Giorgia Vocino, and Gerda Heydemann.

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Indeed, both Julian and Augustine effectively place themselves on the side of a sceptical reader, claiming to have countenanced, then overcome, those very doubts which were capable of undermining each episode’s religious significance. It is particularly interesting to consider these guarantees in relation to the wider problem of the historicity of Augustine’s conversion and of the Confessions more generally. It is not possible here to review this vast and very old debate in depth. Broadly, however, Augustinian scholars have tended either towards a reading of the text as essentially fictional on the one hand, or towards a historicist reading on the other.

Indeed, both Julian and Augustine effectively place themselves on the side of a sceptical reader, claiming to have countenanced, then overcome, those very doubts which were capable of undermining each episode’s religious significance. It is particularly interesting to consider these guarantees in relation to the wider problem of the historicity of Augustine’s conversion and of the Confessions more generally. It is not possible here to review this vast and very old debate in depth. Broadly, however, Augustinian scholars have tended either towards a reading of the text as essentially fictional on the one hand, or towards a historicist reading on the other.

23 Analogies of this sort are common in many late antique spiritual biographies. 26 Nor is this type of device exclusively Christian. 27 It is important not to assume that such analogies are merely decorative or inflationary. Instead, we should see them as precise and measured arguments for establishing the grade and nature of a holy man’s sanctity. What made such validations necessary was not so much the risk of accusations from overt religious opponents (who, after all, would reject the entire tradition) than the highly controversial nature of particular expressions of asceticism within one’s own religious community.

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