Jerome

Jerome

Jerome

Jerome

Synopsis

As a scholar, writer and ascetic, Jerome was a major intellectual force in the early Church and influenced the ideals of Christian chastity and poverty for many generations after his death. This book assembles a representative selection of his voluminous output. It will help readers to a balanced portrait of a complex and brilliant, but not always likeable man.

Excerpt

Jerome is a familiar figure in literature and art. We all know him with a lion at his feet, and, with biblical manuscripts in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew in his study, he is depicted as a desert hero or as a cardinal. Throughout the ages, changing images have characterized this father and doctor of the church.

The aim of this book, however, is to reflect upon and revise some elements of the traditional portrait of Jerome that even today determine his representation across various denominational and ideological borderlines. Thus, on the one hand, the saint is venerated as trilingual translator and commentator and praised as an ascetic virtuoso, while, on the other, he has frequently been described as ill-tempered and attacked as the spiritual seducer of noble ladies. Most scholarly contributions still focus on his individual characteristics, both positive and negative. I will, instead, emphasize Jerome’s position in Christian society of the fourth century AD, his archetypical career as a provincial parvenu, his social and theological networks, and his role in the public discourse upon orthodoxy and asceticism. Thus, it is to be asked how Jerome, a traditionally educated Christian intellectual, was able to succeed as an exponent both of the ascetic movement and of Nicene orthodoxy, as a translator and a commentator of the Bible, and as a mediator between eastern and western theology. The book proposes to elucidate some of the determining factors in Jerome’s literary and theological success, and his self-invention as a heroic hermit and brave fighter against Origenist heresy.

I have profited much from the great strides modern scholarship on Jerome has made in various fields. We are now able to reconstruct his translations of the New and Old Testament and to assess his linguistic competence; our understanding of his philological and exegetical methods has improved; his literary theory and practice has been more clearly defined; his dependence as an amazingly productive exegete . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.