The Honeyed Sword: Rebuking Jerome

Jennifer V. Ebbeler

in Disciplining Christians

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780195372564
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199932122 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Late Antiquity

The Honeyed Sword: Rebuking Jerome

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This chapter focuses on Augustine's famously fraught correspondence with Jerome. Augustine and Jerome quarreled over a number of substantive issues, both scholarly and theological, chief among them the possibility that the Christian scriptures contained lies. The incompatibility of their epistolary mores was also a significant source of conflict in their long-distance relationship. In order to understand how this quarrel over epistolary mores—and, particularly, the propriety of rebuke to an otherwise friendly letter—unfolded, it is necessary to work through the correspondence letter by letter, with close attention to the circumstances of composition and reception for each letter. Such a careful and patient analysis of this knotty correspondence in its larger historical and theological context will result in a more precise understanding of its complicated dynamics. In the process, Jerome will emerge as a rather more sympathetic figure, and the irascibility and resistance to Augustine that readers have often noted should appear more justified.

Keywords: Augustine; Jerome; correspondence; Christian scriptures; epistolary mores; letters

Chapter.  26078 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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