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Delight and Imagination: Ambrose's Hymns

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This paper, which is the written version of a morning lecture (7 August 2007) at the Fifteenth International Conference on Patristic Studies at Oxford, aims to show that bishop Ambrose's influential poetical experiment, the hymns composed for his Milanese congregation, is founded on two convictions concerning God's creation: the delight inherent in it and available to be made operational in a responsible way, and man's imagination as part of God's purpose in creating man after his own image. David had understood this and, following in his track, the hymnographer exploited this potential to inspire his flock.


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