Writing and Holiness: The Practice of Authorship in the Early Christian East

Przednia okładka
University of Pennsylvania Press, 3 kwi 2013 - 312

Drawing on comparative literature, ritual and performance studies, and the history of asceticism, Derek Krueger explores how early Christian writers came to view writing as salvific, as worship through the production of art. Exploring the emergence of new and distinctly Christian ideas about authorship in late antiquity, Writing and Holiness probes saints' lives and hymns produced in the Greek East to reveal how the ascetic call to imitate Christ's humility rendered artistic and literary creativity problematic. In claiming authority and power, hagiographers appeared to violate the saintly practices that they sought to promote. Christian writers meditated within their texts on these tensions and ultimately developed a new set of answers to the question "What is an author?"

Each of the texts examined here used writing as a technique for the representation of holiness. Some are narrative representations of saints that facilitate veneration; others are collections of accounts of miracles, composed to publicize a shrine. Rather than viewing an author's piety as a barrier to historical inquiry, Krueger argues that consideration of writing as a form of piety opens windows onto new modes of practice. He interprets Christian authors as participants in the religious system they described, as devotees, monastics, and faithful emulators of the saints, and he shows how their literary practice integrated authorship into other Christian practices, such as asceticism, devotion, pilgrimage, liturgy, and sacrifice. In considering the distinctly literary contributions to the formation of Christian piety in late antiquity, Writing and Holiness uncovers Christian literary theories with implications for both Eastern and Western medieval literatures.


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Pretty awesome. Also noteworthy to have read an early Christianity scholar whose use of literary and ritual theory I actually liked...! Przeczytaj pełną recenzję

Spis treści

1 Literary Composition as a Religious Activity
Theodoret of Cyrrhuss Religious History
The Evangelists as Saints
Writing in the Cult of the Saints
Humility as Authorial Practice
Writing and Memory in Gregory of Nyssas Life of Macrina
Plotinus Syncletica and the Teaching of Addai
The Hymns of Romanos the Melodist
Genre and Discipline
List of Abbreviations
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Informacje o autorze (2013)

Derek Krueger is Joe Rosenthal Excellence Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. He is the author of Symeon the Holy Fool: Leontius's Life and the Late Antique City.

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