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Bibil Identifier bibil:214336
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) In a Silent Way
Title (English, ) Asceticism and Literature in the Rehabilitation of Gregory of Nazianzus
Author Storin, Bradley K.
Journal Journal of Early Christian Studies (Volume: 19, Issue: 2)
Year (Publication) 2011
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2011
Year (Copyright) 2011
Year (Reference) 2011
Language English
Pages 225-257 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract Gregory of Nazianzus's forty-day silence during the Easter season of 382 stands as a remarkable act of ascetic innovation. It did not occur, however, in a vacuum. This article argues that Gregory contrived the novel practice, and advertised it in five poems and twelve letters, as a complement to the collection of poems, letters, and orations that he composed in the wake of his departure from Constantinople in June 381. The ascetic practice of silence worked in concert with this literary campaign to reestablish Gregory's ecclesiastical authority, something that many of his contemporaries questioned after a tumultuous tenure in the imperial capital. The concrete goal of this literary and ascetic combination, then, was to rehabilitate Gregory's reputation and allow him to re-occupy the Nazianzan episcopacy, which he accomplished on Easter Sunday 382, the very day that he quit his silence. In sum, I argue that Gregory's silence shows how asceticism, church politics, and self-presentation could converge in the late fourth century.
DOI 10.1353/earl.2011.0029
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Ancient Christianity : Ancient Christian Literature : Texts and Authors (Church Fathers) : Texts and Authors : Gregory of Nazianzus
Thesaurus BiBIL : Ancient Christianity : Themes : Asceticism
Last modification 2017-10-27