First, she seeks to reconstruct the social circumstances and material realities within which Jerome worked as a biblical scholar, from his education in Rome during the s until his death at the Bethlehem monastery in Williams integrates a wide range of scholarship on late antique education, the culture of manuscript production and dissemination, scholarly patronage, and the nature of ancient libraries in order to explore the distinctive character of Jerome's own scholarly resources and methods.
The library at the Bethlehem monastery, where after leaving Rome Jerome lived and worked as a biblical translator and commentator beginning in late , was extensive, almost certainly containing more than a thousand substantial volumes. Because all such books were copied by hand—primarily as papyrus codices, a particularly late antique book form—they were expensive. As an exegete, Jerome worked especially from Greek and Hebrew sources at his disposal, sometimes translating and incorporating without attribution, sometimes paraphrasing, sometimes thoroughly reworking materials from multiple authors.
Like other learned writers in late antiquity, he often composed by dictation and used assistants who read aloud to him; over several decades, he also employed Jewish teachers to aid him with philological and contextual issues in the Hebrew texts to which he devoted so much scholarly energy. Williams' painstaking reconstructions enable us to get behind the famous Renaissance portraits of the biblical translator anachronistically ensconced in an idealized, late medieval monastic cell. Their combination took no little doing, and was a fits-and-starts achievement to which Jerome made major contributions.
Williams, however, portrays the matter differently—not in the end as two cultures in tension, elements from which Jerome creatively found ways to integrate, but rather as antinomies he failed to overcome.
Early Christian Impresarios | by Eamon Duffy | The New York Review of Books
For example, because Jerome assembled and used a library worth "a senatorial fortune," employed literary assistants, and paid his Jewish teachers well, he subverted his ascetic commitments: "Scholarship thereby violates the monastic norm of poverty. Scholarship and poverty, exegesis and humility having been depicted as irreconcilable, Williams repeatedly represents Jerome as disingenuous, aiming to mask his own assertions of authority behind an "elaborate parade of humility.
Yet Williams' presentation depends upon interpreting certain of Jerome's remarks as though he intended them as comprehensive, literal descriptions of the entirety of his working methods—an odd decision for a historian so attuned to the customs of Jerome's heavily rhetorical literary culture. She then mines his vast oeuvre for contradictions, which unsurprisingly are found. See all comments. No comments See all comments. Email Newsletter sample.
Stay informed. Monson resurrects forgotten tales and restores to life the long-silent voices of these cloistered heroines. Here we meet nuns who dared speak out about physical assault and sexual impropriety some real, some imagined. Others were only guilty of misjudgment or defacing valuable artwork that offended their sensibilities.
The Monk and the Book : Jerome and the Making of Christian Scholarship
But what unites the women and their stories is the challenges they faced: these were women trying to find their way within the Catholicism of their day and through the strict limits it imposed on them. Monson introduces us to women who were occasionally desperate to flee cloistered life, as when an entire community conspired to torch their convent and be set free.
But more often, he shows us nuns just trying to live their lives. When they were crossed—by powerful priests who claimed to know what was best for them—bad behavior could escalate from mere troublemaking to open confrontation.
The Monk and the Book: Jerome and the Making of Christian Scholarship
The nuns of early modern Italy, Monson shows, set the standard for religious transgression in their own age—and beyond. Michael Leo Owens. This collaboration, activist churches explain, is a way of enacting their faith and helping their neighborhoods. But as Michael Leo Owens demonstrates in God and Government in the Ghetto, this alliance also serves as a means for black clergy to reaffirm their political leadership and reposition moral authority in black civil society.
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Drawing on both survey data and fieldwork in New York City, Owens reveals that African American churches can use these newly forged connections with public agencies to influence policy and government responsiveness in a way that reaches beyond traditional electoral or protest politics. The churches and neighborhoods, Owens argues, can see a real benefit from that influence—but it may come at the expense of less involvement at the grassroots.
Anyone with a stake in the changing strategies employed by churches as they fight for social justice will find God and Government in the Ghetto compelling reading.
Marvin W. The Nag Hammadi Scriptures, edited by Marvin Meyer, is the most complete, up-to-date, one-volume, English-language edition of the renowned library of Gnostic manuscripts discovered in Egypt in , which rivaled the Dead Sea Scrolls find in significance.
It includes the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary, and the recently discovered Gospel of Judas, as well as other Gnostic gospels and sacred texts. This volume also includes introductory essays, notes, tables, glossary, index, etc. The compilation of ancient manuscripts that constitute The Nag Hammadi Scriptures is a discovery that challenges everything we thought we knew about the early Christian church, ancient Judaism, and Greco-Roman religions.
Dan Jones. In this epic narrative history of courage, treachery, ambition, and deception, Dan Jones resurrects the unruly royal dynasty that preceded the Tudors. Anthony Gill. Nowhere has the relationship between state and church been more volatile in recent decades than in Latin America. Anthony Gill's controversial book not only explains why Catholic leaders in some countries came to oppose dictatorial rule but, equally important, why many did not.
Using historical and statistical evidence from twelve countries, Gill for the first time uncovers the causal connection between religious competition and the rise of progressive Catholicism. In places where evangelical Protestantism and "spiritist" sects made inroads among poor Catholics, Church leaders championed the rights of the poor and turned against authoritarian regimes to retain parishioners.
Where competition was minimal, bishops maintained good relations with military rulers. Applying economic reasoning to an entirely new setting, Rendering unto Caesar offers a new theory of religious competition that dramatically revises our understanding of church-state relations.
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