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Get Almsgiving in the Later Roman Empire: Christian Promotion PDF

By Richard Finn

ISBN-10: 0199283605

ISBN-13: 9780199283606

Richard Finn OP examines the importance of almsgiving in church buildings of the later empire for the identification and standing of the bishops, ascetics, and lay those that undertook practices which differed in style and context from the almsgiving practiced through pagans. It unearths how the almsgiving an important in developing the bishop's status was once a co-operative job the place honor used to be shared yet which uncovered the bishop to feedback and competition. Finn info how practices won which means from a discourse which recast conventional virtues of generosity and justice to render almsgiving a benefaction and resource of honor, and the way this trend of inspiration and behavior interacted with classical styles to generate controversy. He argues that co-operation and festival in Christian almsgiving, including the continuing lifestyles of conventional euergetism, intended that, opposite to the perspectives of modern students, Christian alms didn't flip bishops into the very best buyers in their towns.

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Extra info for Almsgiving in the Later Roman Empire: Christian Promotion and Practice (313-450) (Oxford Classical Monographs)

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PREVIOUS SCHOLARSHIP The history of almsgiving in the Early Church has itself a history. Much nineteenth-century scholarship was coloured by the theological suppositions and prejudices of its writers, whose questions 131 Chrysostom, Homilies on 1 Timothy 14, PG 62. 574. 132 Augustine, Serm. 113. 1, PL 38. 648. 133 Callinicus, Life of Hypatios 8. 14–17, SC 177. 102–4. 134 For the resemblances and diVerences between voluntary and involuntary forms of poverty in the later empire, cf. Patlagean, Pauvrete´, 47 and 62–4.

Berlin, 1995), 342. 9 Bishop and donor would share the honour associated with the donation. What was said of Epiphanius explains why almsgiving might confer an exceptional moral authority on a bishop: a good reputation attracted further alms, which, once distributed, enhanced the cleric’s reputation to win even greater funds for disbursement. The same remark, however, also betrays an anxiety that not every bishop was so honest with gifts of this kind. The practice exposed the bishop and his clergy to charges of misappropriation, and a generous donor to charges of bribery.

7 Large donations by wealthy individuals, both in the donor’s lifetime and at their death in bequests, were one source of episcopal funds. 8 The comment suggests the popular desire to give alms, and the wish of donors to control the uses to which their gifts were put. It is probable on the basis of evidence from Carthage that the bishop and his clergy were expected to distribute such large gifts openly, and to publicize the donor’s name. The Gesta apud Zenophilum reveals an expectation in the early fourth century that a donation by a wealthy Carthaginian, Lucilla, had it been distributed, would have been accompanied by the 6 Chrysostom, De sacerdotio 3.

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Almsgiving in the Later Roman Empire: Christian Promotion and Practice (313-450) (Oxford Classical Monographs) by Richard Finn


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