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Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198848837
Number of Pages: 288
Published: 01/10/2020
Width: 16.5 cm
Height: 24.2 cm
Ancient authors commonly compared writing with painting. The sculpting of the soul was also a common philosophical theme. Art, Craft, and Theology in Fourth-Century Christian Authors takes its starting-point from such figures to recover a sense of ancient authorship as craft. The ancient concept of craft (ars, techne) spans 'high' or 'fine' art and practical or applied arts. It unites the beautiful and the useful. It includes both skills or practices (like medicine and music) and productive arts like painting, sculpting and the composition of texts. By using craft as a guiding concept for understanding fourth Christian authorship, this book recovers a sense of them engaged in a shared practice which is both beautiful and theologically useful, which shapes souls but which is also engaged in the production of texts. It focuses on Greek writers, especially the Cappadocians (Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nysa) and John Chrysostom, all of whom were trained in rhetoric. Through a detailed examination of their use of two particular literary techniques--ekphrasis and prosopopoeia--it shows how they adapt and experiment with them, in order to make theological arguments and in order to evoke a response from their readership.

Morwenna Ludlow (Professor of Christian History and Theology, University of Exeter, Professor of Christian History and Theology)

Professor Morwenna Ludlow studied Classics and then Theology at the University of Oxford. She is Professor of Christian History and Theology at the University of Exeter and has written widely on Gregory of Nyssa, including two monographs published by Oxford University Press.

In sum, this monograph convincingly demonstrates how the craft of rhetoric was used in a meaningful way in the theological discourse of fourth century Christian church leaders. * Olympe De Backer, Augustiniana * Saying that the book is a welcome addition to the field of late antique studies may sound cliche, but it is not often that a book leaves the reader with the impression that a topic that has been repeatedly explored (the study of ekphrasis and prosopopoeia) can be approached from a different perspective and provide a new way of understanding the world of Late Antiquity. * Alberto Jesus Quiroga Puertas, Universidad de Granada,, De Gruyter *

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