Almsgiving in the Later Roman Empire: Christian Promotion and Practice 313-450

Hardcover | October 18, 2006

byRichard Finn OP

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Richard Finn OP examines the significance of almsgiving in Churches of the later empire for the identity and status of the bishops, ascetics, and lay people who undertook practices which differed in kind and context from the almsgiving practised by pagans. It reveals how the almsgiving crucialin constructing the bishop's standing was a co-operative task where honour was shared but which exposed the bishop to criticism and rivalry. Finn details how practices gained meaning from a discourse which recast traditional virtues of generosity and justice to render almsgiving a benefaction andsource of honour, and how this pattern of thought and conduct interacted with classical patterns to generate controversy. He argues that co-operation and competition in Christian almsgiving, together with the continued existence of traditional euergetism, meant that, contrary to the views of recentscholars, Christian alms did not turn bishops into the supreme patrons of their cities.

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Richard Finn OP examines the significance of almsgiving in Churches of the later empire for the identity and status of the bishops, ascetics, and lay people who undertook practices which differed in kind and context from the almsgiving practised by pagans. It reveals how the almsgiving crucialin constructing the bishop's standing was a...

Richard Finn OP is Regent of Studies, Blackfriars, Oxford.

other books by Richard Finn OP

Asceticism in the Graeco-Roman World
Asceticism in the Graeco-Roman World

Kobo ebook|Jul 2 2009

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 1.04 inPublished:October 18, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199283605

ISBN - 13:9780199283606

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Episcopal almsgiving3. Almsgiving by monks and lay Christians4. The promotion of Christian almsgiving5. The meanings of Christian almsgiving6. Christian and Classical7. Concluding remarks