The Letters of Jerome: Asceticism, Biblical Exegesis, and the Construction of Christian Authority…

Hardcover | March 19, 2009

byAndrew Cain

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In the centuries following his death, Jerome (c.347-420) was venerated as a saint and as one of the four Doctors of the Latin church. In his own lifetime, however, he was a severely marginalized figure whose intellectual and spiritual authority did not go unchallenged, at times even by thosein his inner circle. His ascetic theology was rejected by the vast majority of Christian contemporaries, his Hebrew scholarship was called into question by the leading Biblical authorities of the day, and the reputation he cultivated as a pious monk was compromised by allegations of moralimpropriety with some of his female disciples. In view of the extremely problematic nature of his profile, how did Jerome seek to bring credibility to himself and his various causes? In this book, the first of its kind in any language, Andrew Cain answers this crucial question through a systematic examination of Jerome's idealizedself-presentation across the whole range of his extant epistolary corpus. Modern scholars overwhelmingly either access the letters as historical sources or appreciate their aesthetic properties. Cain offers a new approach and explores the largely neglected but nonetheless fundamental propagandisticdimension of the correspondence. In particular, he proposes theories about how, and above all why, Jerome used individual letters and letter-collections to bid for status as an expert on the Bible and ascetic spirituality.

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In the centuries following his death, Jerome (c.347-420) was venerated as a saint and as one of the four Doctors of the Latin church. In his own lifetime, however, he was a severely marginalized figure whose intellectual and spiritual authority did not go unchallenged, at times even by thosein his inner circle. His ascetic theology was...

Dr. Andrew Cain is Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Colorado.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.88 inPublished:March 19, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199563551

ISBN - 13:9780199563555

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. 'The Voice of One Calling in the Desert'2. A Pope and His Scholar3. Claiming Marcella4. Expulsion from Rome5. The Embattled Ascetic Sage6. The Exegetical LettersConclusionAppendicesI. Classifying the Letters: A New TaxonomyII. Lost Letters of JeromeIII. The Manuscript Tradition