SWS Ch. 7 Spiritual Partners in Christian Asceticism Jerome & Paula

SWS Ch. 7 Spiritual Partners in Christian Asceticism Jerome & Paula

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Chapter 7 SWS CHAPTER 7: SPIRITUAL PARTNERS IN CHRISTIAN ASCETICISM: JEROME (? 346-420 CE) AND PAULA (347-404 CE) PGS (140-170) Setting the Stage -4 th century Roman Empire divided into eastern & western sectors -Power shifted to eastern part of Empire -Home to multiple ethnic populations, urban centers, Greek & Latin cultural & intellectual life -Had to contend w/ Sasanian Persian Empire -W. Mediterranean & Europe Roman law, language, and social order were planted -Christianity became legally acceptable, socially respectable, and politically powerful -Constantine; converted to Christianity (pg 142) -313 CE Edict of Milan: gave Christians freedom to worship openly -383 CE law code of emperor Theodosius: all peoples in Empire must practice Christian religion -Geographic breadth of Christianity’s sweep and diversity of local traditions hardly unified - All aspects of life in the 4 th century were affected by debates over beliefs and creeds, competition for authority, and tensions between civic goals and spiritual power behaviors -Mainly in west, Christian bishops, councils, doctrines, & laws constructed distinct identity and own claims to universal, or catholic power -Radical promise of early church appealed to women as it had appealed to men (pg.142) -Women Martyrs -Lives of Jerome & Paula allow to consider complex relationships between institutional & personal dimensions of Christianity in period of rapid transformation -Involved in social, intellectual, & spiritual change -Experiences illustrate why & how such changes took place -Roman senatorial aristocracies Christianity -Women of these families led way in conversions -Christian devotion & morality -Church offices & positions became prestigious & desirable -Elite intellectual men (Jerome) well educated in philosophy & theology, helped to define what it meant to be Christian -Rome & Christian traditions of asceticism blossomed & were institutionalized in Christian monasticism -Holy communities in Bethlehem -Gender differences shaped their place in movements -Adoption of holy virginity -Social responses The Actors -Jerome -Economically comfortable family -Family probably from Greece, but Latinized -Elementary school (ages 6/7 to 11/12) -Read, write, Greek/Latin, Math -Rome for secondary education (age 12) -Could lead to lucrative & prestigious government positions -Math, Science, Music. ., but focus was Grammar -Two important things about this education -Became familiar with variety of classical/pagan authors; had to decide later
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SWS Ch. 7 Spiritual Partners in Christian Asceticism Jerome & Paula

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