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Methodology, Authority And Spontaneity: Sources Of Spiritual Truthfulness In Late Antique Texts And Life

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Chapter Summary

Late antiquity was traditionally regarded as a period of widespread superstition and excessive religiosity. This paper begins by discussing thirdperson religious writing before comparing it to first-person religious writing. Since the questions with which this paper is concerned could potentially be brought to many religious texts from the period, the answers it gives will necessarily be incomplete and sporadic. But by investigating truthfulness as a concept, the aim is to open up a new perspective from which historians may reflect on the relationship between text and life. Our enquiry began by asking whether hagiographies and other spiritual writings from late antiquity were more akin to theology or to historiography, whether they contained only an internal logic or whether they were open to the world of familiar experience - questions of great importance both for the intellectual contents of such works and also for any modern use of them.

Keywords: excessive religiosity; late antiquity; superstition religiosity; truthfulness

10.1163/ej.9789004206601.i-224.9
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004206601.i-224.9
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