Ambrose

Ambrose

Ambrose

Ambrose

Synopsis

St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan from 374 to 397, was one of the most important figures of the fourth century Roman empire. This volume explores the enormous impact of Ambrose on Western civilization, and examines the complexity of his ideas and influence; as a poet, ascetic, mystic and politician. Ambrose combines an up-to-date account of his life and work, with translations of key writings. Ramsey's volume presents a comprehensive and accessible insight into a relatively unexplored persona and argues that Ambrose has influenced the Western world in ways as yet unrealized.

Excerpt

Ambrose of Milan was one of the most influential persons of his time, and his influence endures to this day, but he seems somehow to be more remote to us than his two great contemporaries of Latin Christianity, Jerome and Augustine. The personalities of these two men spill onto the pages that they wrote—Jerome irritable and spontaneous, Augustine searching and reflective. Ambrose produced nothing approaching the famous self-revelations of Jerome’s Letter 22 or Augustine’s Confessions, and so it is that much harder for us to grasp hold of him as a man and to understand him as we would wish to.

But the relative obscurity of Ambrose’s personality has not prevented biographers, historians and patrologists from exercising their craft. The twentieth century has seen the publication of several important works on the Bishop of Milan by scholars like Hans Von Campenhausen, F. Homes Dudden and Michele Pellegrino. Recently two important books have appeared—Neil B. McLynn’s Ambrose of Milan: Church and Court in a Christian Capital (1994) and Daniel H. Williams’ Ambrose of Milan and the End of the Arian—Nicene Conflicts (1995). It was inevitable that the Ambrose of the legends that were already abroad when Paulinus penned his biography shortly after the bishop’s death would eventually be subjected to an extensive scrutiny in which the most iconoclastic questions would be posed, and such has been the case. But recent works sometimes convey the impression that there was little more to Ambrose than his political side. Each generation writes history and draws its characterizations from the perspective that is most congenial to it, as is well known, so it is hardly surprising that Ambrose’s theology and spirituality would be viewed today within the context of his politics rather than the other way around. Future studies of Ambrose will undoubtedly

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.