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Ambrose Of Milan On Chastity

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Chapter Summary

Ambrose of Milan is frequently depicted as an advocate of asceticism, basing his exhortations to flee physical pleasures on a dualistic, Platonic conception of human nature. Some scholars have applied this interpretation even more stringently to the works Ambrose dedicated to Christians with celibate vocations. This chapter seeks to challenge that position. It considers Ambrose's views on chastity for three of the groups of Christians to whom he writes: married couples, widows, and consecrated virgins. Ambrose gives his broadest treatment of anthropology in his account of creation and life in Eden in his Hexaemeron and De paradiso. The human body, made up of parts well adapted to their functions, is the vesture of the soul and the temple of the Holy Spirit, at least when it is illuminated and guided by the eyes and other sense organs located in the head.

Keywords:Ambrose of Milan; chastity; consecrated virgins; human nature; married couples; widows



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