A New Science: The Discovery of Religion in the Age of by Guy G. Stroumsa

By Guy G. Stroumsa

We see the notice “religion” in every single place, but can we comprehend what it skill, and is there a constant around the globe knowing? Who came across faith and in what context? In a brand new technology, man Stroumsa bargains an leading edge and robust argument that the comparative examine of faith unearths its foundation in early glossy Europe. the realm within which this new type emerged used to be marked via 3 significant ancient and highbrow phenomena: the increase of ecu empires, that gave start to ethnological interest; the Reformation, which completely altered Christianity; and the discovery of philology, a self-discipline that remodeled Western highbrow concept. in contrast advanced ancient backdrop, Stroumsa courses us during the lives and writings of the lads who got here to outline the note “religion.” As Stroumsa boldly argues, the fashionable examine of faith, a brand new technology, was once made attainable via a dialectical approach among Catholic and Protestant students. historic Israelite faith, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Manichaeanism, Zoroastrianism, the sacred ideals of the recent international, and people of Greece, Rome, India, and China, composed the complicated floor upon which “religion,” a most recent classification, was once came upon.

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46 and 47 are addressed to Rufinus (CSEL 29, 245-246, 387-389). 228 Paulinus of Nola, Ep. 46, 2 (CSEL 29, 387-388). 229 Paulinus of Nola, Ep. 47, 2 (CSEL 29, 389); Rufinus, De benedictwmbus patriarchurn I, pratfatio; II, praefatio (CCL 20, 189, 203). 23° see Paulinus of Nola, Ep. 49 to Macarius (CSEL 29, 390-404); cf. , vol. 2: 157), where Macarius is described as an ex-vtcarius; Pierre Fabre, Essai sur la chronologic de I'oeuvre de Saint Paulin de Nole, 86-87; Bardy, Recberches, 91. 231 Paulinus of Nola, Ep.

This last point again brings home the extent to which the antagonists agreed in their approach to Origen: to use what was edifying and discard what was not. So once more we ask, why did the controversy develop as it did? Here the network concepts of density, multiplexity, brokerage, and "the strength of weak ties" illumine the historical data. Using the formula 17 [PG67,716], and Sozomen5HE VIII, 17 [PG 67,1560]. G. Liebeschuetz, Barbarians and Bishops: Army, Church, and State in the Age of Arcadius and Chrysostom, chap.

The role of "brokers" was also of decisive importance in the early stages of the Origenist controversy. Separated at first by small distances (Jerusa­ lem and Bethlehem) and then by more extensive ones (Italy and Palestine), Rufinus and Jerome were in need of speedy and faithful emissaries. Both the development and the rancor of the controversy were influenced by the questionable behavior of their intermediaries. The deliberate nature of the liaisons' misguided actions undoubtedly resulted from the passionate loy­ alty they gave their respective patrons, and hence their patrons' opinions: as Rodney Stark observed in his studies, religious commitments tend to follow the lines of personal loyalties to friends and relatives.

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