Christian Grace and Pagan Virtue: The Theological Foundation by J. Warren Smith

By J. Warren Smith

Ambrose of Milan (340-397) used to be the 1st Christian bishop to write down a scientific account of Christian ethics, within the treatise De Officiis, variously translated as "on tasks" or "on responsibilities." yet Ambrose additionally handled the ethical existence in different works, particularly his sermons at the patriarchs and his addresses to catechumens and newly baptized. there's a large sleek literature on Ambrose, yet basically in contemporary a long time has he began to be taken heavily as a philosopher, not only as a operating bishop and ecclesiastical baby-kisser. simply because Ambrose was once one of many few Latin Christian writers in antiquity who knew Greek, one other significant region of Ambrose scholarship has been the research of his assets, significantly the Jewish thinker Philo, and Christian writers akin to Origen of Alexandria.
In this e-book, Warren Smith examines the missed biblical, liturgical and theological foundations of Ambrose's suggestion on ethics. prior reviews have came upon little that was once distinctively Christian in Ambrose's snapshot of the virtuous individual. Smith indicates that although, just like the pagans, Ambrose emphasised moderation, braveness, justice, and prudence, for him those features have been formed by means of the church's ideals approximately God's salvific economic climate. The braveness of a Christian dealing with persecution, for instance, was once an expression of religion in Christ's resurrection and the church's eschatological desire. Eschatology, for Ambrose, used to be now not pagan knowledge clothed in pious language, however the very good judgment upon which advantage rests.

Show description

Read Online or Download Christian Grace and Pagan Virtue: The Theological Foundation of Ambrose's Ethics (Oxford Studies in Historical Theology) PDF

Similar christianity books

Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives: The Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica used to be probably the most well known non secular courses of Serbia within the 20th century. As a beginner he lived in obedience to Elder Ambrose of Miljkovo Monastery, a disciple of the Optina Elders. From him Fr. Thaddeus discovered the Prayer of the center and the selfless love that got here to symbolize his entire ministry to the agony Serbian humans.

Holman QuickSource Guide to Christian Apologetics

In today’s pluralistic society, now not each method of sharing the gospel will paintings with everybody. Being able to provide purposes for the wish we've got in Christ ability figuring out the contextual framework of the folk we're addressing.
In the Holman QuickSource advisor to Christian Apologetics, Renaissance guy Doug Powell defends the Christian religion in a brand new key; taking timehonored techniques in apologetics and freshly providing them for a brand new new release.

The Sacred Desert: Religion, Literature, Art and Culture

The Sacred desolate tract is a mirrored image at the function of the wilderness in theology, heritage, literature, artwork and movie. An unique mirrored image at the function of the wilderness in theology, background, literature, artwork and picture. Discusses figures as assorted as Jesus, the early Christian wilderness Fathers, T. E. Lawrence, T.

The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis : A Critical Assessment from the New Testament to Eriugena (Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae)

Apokatastasis (restoration) is a tremendous patristic doctrine stemming from Greek philosophy and Jewish-Christian Scriptures. Ramelli argues for its presence and Christological and Biblical starting place in lots of Fathers, analysing its which means and improvement from the delivery of Christianity to Eriugena.

Additional resources for Christian Grace and Pagan Virtue: The Theological Foundation of Ambrose's Ethics (Oxford Studies in Historical Theology)

Example text

While Ambrose does discuss the healing transformation of “the body of death” that comes at the resurrection, he devotes more attention to the question of the moral unity of soul and body that is characteristic of a virtuous life. However, it is perhaps something of a misnomer to speak of conflict in the sense of the soul and body seeking different ends. In Ambrose’s anthropology, one typical of his day, the body does not actually do or seek anything except as it is moved by the animating soul. Therefore, moral unity is not, properly speaking, harmony of the soul and body but harmony between competing faculties or impulses of the soul that have different orientations.

3 The soul is the form of the body in the sense that its virtues or lack of virtues determine the actions of the body. The ends established by the soul determine what the body is and what it does. In his account of the body’s instrumental relation to the soul, Ambrose clearly shares Aristotle’s view that the soul is both the formal cause of the body in that it is the animating or actualizing principle and the final cause as that which determines the end to which our bodily actions are directed.

Moreover, he insists that those who are attracted to the comeliness of our outward appearance love us only for the superficial and fleeting beauty of our body and so do not, rightly speaking, love us. Ambrose’s assumption is that what is real is that which endures. To be sure, as creatures who by definition are not eternal, our soul does not possess a beauty like God’s, eternal and perfect. Nonetheless, the beauty of the soul outlasts the radiance of youthful beauty, the pursuit of which is vain. 83 Ambrose’s point is that the catechumen should seek that beauty in herself and in others that is not subject to decay with the mere passage of time.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.20 of 5 – based on 31 votes