By Megan Hale Williams

In the West, monastic beliefs and scholastic objectives are complementary; clergymen are popularly imagined copying classics, conserving studying throughout the heart a long time, and developing the 1st universities. yet this twin identification isn't with no its contradictions. whereas monasticism emphasizes the virtues of poverty, chastity, and humility, the coed, against this, calls for dear infrastructure—a library, a place of work, and the technique of disseminating his paintings. In The Monk and the e-book, Megan Hale Williams argues that Saint Jerome used to be the 1st to symbolize biblical examine as a style of asceticism applicable for an inhabitant of a Christian monastery, therefore pioneering the long-lasting linkage of monastic identities and associations with scholarship. Revisiting Jerome with the analytical instruments of contemporary cultural history—including the paintings of Bourdieu, Foucault, and Roger Chartier—Williams proposes new interpretations that get rid of stumbling blocks to figuring out the existence and legacy of the saint. studying matters akin to the development of Jerome’s literary character, the shape and contents of his library, and the highbrow framework of his commentaries, Williams indicates that Jerome’s textual and exegetical paintings at the Hebrew scriptures helped to build a brand new tradition of studying. This fusion of the identities of student and monk, Williams indicates, maintains to reverberate within the tradition of the fashionable college.

''[Williams] has written a desirable research, which gives a sequence of awesome insights into the occupation of 1 of the main colourful and influential figures in Christian antiquity. Jerome's Latin Bible may develop into the foundational textual content for the highbrow improvement of the West, delivering phrases for the private aspirations and such a lot intensely held convictions of a whole civilization. Williams's booklet does a lot to illumine the conditions during which that basic textual content used to be produced, and reminds us that fab principles, like nice humans, have specific origins, and their very own advanced settings.''—Eamon Duffy, New York overview of Books



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In the face of this evidence, it seems likely that the story of the dream is 2. 30. 3. 30: Interim parabantur exsequiae et uitalis animae calor toto frigente iam corpore in solo tam tepente pectusculo palpitabat, cum subito raptus in spiritu ad tribunal iudicis pertrahor. In this note and the two that follow, I give the text of the more ambiguous portions of the passage. 4. ” ’ 5. In haec sacramenti uerba dimissus reuertor ad superos. the making of a christian writer 27 a fiction. 8 We ought, therefore, to read this narrative as a stylized reinterpretation of Jerome’s younger self, governed by a sense of the incompatibility of Latin literary culture and Christian ascetic piety that he had not felt a decade or more earlier.

3, discussed below. 26 The network also held out opportunities: Jerome could hope to inject his own writings into the channels that conveyed other Christian works to eager audiences. As we have seen, a longer, more ambitious letter could attract the sustained support of a patron; at the same time, the acceptance of a work by its dedicatee marked the recipient’s approval of its content and helped to ensure its circulation. To judge from the books that Jerome mentions in these letters, his intellectual life during his years in Syria was exclusively and explicitly Christian.

Vogüé, Histoire littéraire, 1 : 109 –11. 29. 5. 30. 2: Hic enim aut barbarus semisermo discendus est aut tacendum est. There is a longstanding difficulty over the text of this passage. Hilberg, the editor of the authoritative CSEL edition of the letters, printed seni sermo against the evidence of all the manuscript authorities, in what appears to be an overzealous application of the principle of lectio difficilior. 36 chapter one friends in Italy to complain that they had failed to write to him—are alive with vivid, imagistic turns of phrase.

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