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The Reception And Interpretation Of Paul In Late Antiquity: 1 Corinthians 7 And The Ascetic Debates

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Chapter Summary

Two of the more important developments in patristic scholarship of the past generation have been, on the one hand, a renewed appreciation of the centrality of the Bible in late ancient Christianity?evidenced in the publication of Charles Kannengiesser?s Handbook of Patristic Exegesis and in the theme of this colloquium?and, on the other hand, a deeper sense of the pervasive power of asceticism in the lives of late antique men and women. This chapter focuses on a particularly contentious moment in late antiquity, namely the late fourth-century conflict between Jovinian and Jerome, a debate which attracted the attention of the most distinguished figures in Latin letters, such as Ambrose, Pelagius, and Augustine. It examines the earlier history of the interpretation of 1 Corinthians 7 in order to provide a context for interpreting the late fourth-century conflicts.

Keywords: 1 Corinthians 7; Jerome; Jovinian; late antiquity; late fourth-century conflict



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