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Honey and Venom

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Social Distinctions between the Old and the Young in Gregory the Great’s Pastoral Care of a Changing World

image of Church History and Religious Culture

This article explores the implementation of Gregory’s distinction for preaching to the young and the old in the Regula Pastoralis in the context of the papacy’s expanding relations with Christians across the Late Antique and Early Medieval world. Much has been written about whether Gregory’s pontificate was part of the end of the Late Antique period or the beginning of the Early Medieval era. The implementation of these preaching prescriptions in Gregory’s letters demonstrates that the Regula Pastoralis can serve as a new tool for examining this debate and reveals how the method prescribed by Gregory for caring for the young and the old shaped how he approached the papacy’s relations with different communities.

Affiliations: 1: Saint Louis University


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