By Conrad Leyser
Whilst barbarians invaded the Roman Empire within the years round four hundred advert, Christian priests concealed of their cloisters--or so it's always assumed. Conrad Leyser exhibits that clergymen within the early medieval West have been, in reality, pioneers within the construction of a brand new language of ethical authority. He describes the making of this practice over centuries from St. Augustine to St. Benedict and Gregory the nice.
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Extra info for Authority and Asceticism from Augustine to Gregory the Great (Oxford Historical Monographs)
The saved were a closed number, a complete community known to the mind of God in eternity. There would be no defaulters from their ranks— no Antoninus or Januarius—and no need for any protracted judicial proceedings. Serm. . , PL , D-A. 83 Human knowledge is as imperfect as human community. The corollary of this closed narrative of the elect is that we cannot know who is in the number. ‘For who of the multitude of believers [cf. ’84 The function of Augustine’s teachings was not to discourage, but to strike fear into and to drive presumption out from the hearts of all.
91 The reading on this occasion, taken from Ezekiel, describes the Lord’s commission of the prophet as the watchman of the house of Israel (Ezek. : –), the image Augustine refers to in his treatise On correction to evoke the exposed position of those in power. It is tempting to link this sermon also with the events of –, or at least with Augustine’s growing realization that he had to exert his authority in Hippo if he wanted his flock to live in charity. In invoking the figure of the watchman of the house of Israel, Augustine drew upon a long established tradition among Christian communities of thinking about authority and responsibility, a discussion embedded into the very terminology for ‘bishops’.
Duchrow, ‘Zum Prolog von Augustins De Doctrina christiana’, Vigiliae Christianae (), –, suggests that Augustine wrote in hostile response to Cassian’s discussion of scripture in the Conferences (although Green, De doctrina christiana, pp. xiii–xiv, is unpersuaded). Intriguing as evidence for complicity between Marseilles and Hippo is the case of the monk Leporius, sent by Bishop Proculus to Augustine for correction of his wayward Christological views, and discussed by Cassian in his De Incarnatione Domini contra Nestorium.
Authority and Asceticism from Augustine to Gregory the Great (Oxford Historical Monographs) by Conrad Leyser
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