IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 708: Writings of the Church Fathers

Tuesday 10 July 2012, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:Matheus Coutinho Figuinha, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa
Paper 708-aPaula, Pachomius, the Virgin, and Eufraxia: Implications of Monastic Rules
(Language: English)
Sue Ellen Holbrook, Department of English, Southern Connecticut State University
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Monasticism, Social History, Women's Studies
Paper 708-bApproaching Gregory the Great's Moralia
(Language: English)
Charlotte Kingston, Department of History, University of York
Index terms: Biblical Studies, Theology

Paper -a:
I examine ‘Rules’ for early ascetic Christian women’s communities. The texts include Paula’s ‘order’ for her Bethlehem women’s monastery (Jerome’s Letter 103 28 January 403; the regula for Pachomius’s communities, which Jerome translated in late 404 for Eustochium, who succeeded her mother; ‘To the Virgin[s]’ by Evagrius Ponticus (before 399) possibly for Syncletia; and descriptions in the life of Eufraxia set in a late 4th-century cenobium in the Thebaid. Topics include what questions these ‘rules’ address’ how they related to secular households’; how gender matters; and whether they aid in reconstructing the material configuration of the living arrangements.

Paper -b:
Gregory the Great’s Moralia is a long work of exegesis on the book of Job in which Gregory does not always follow the exegetical rules that he himself set down particularly strictly. Indeed, the work has been noted for its many digressions, asides and repetitions. This paper will propose ways of understanding and approaching this difficult work and of using Gregory’s particular use of the genre in order to gain a deeper understanding of his ideas and purposes. In doing so it will explore some of the Moralia’s main themes and briefly consider some of his other works. It is hoped that this will open discussion and lead to further fruitful research on this work.