Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
Holy Bishops in Late Antiquity: The Nature of Christian Leadership in an Age of Transition Hardcover – June 9, 2005
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
"This book is highly important. Rapp emphasizes continuities between the pre- and post-Constantine periods, a healthy correction to the myopic concentration that characterizes so much previous work on the subject. The range of materials she draws on to make her case is truly impressive, her argument both original and persuasive."
From the Inside Flap
"This book is highly important. Rapp emphasizes continuities between the pre- and post-Constantine periods, a healthy correction to the myopic concentration that characterizes so much previous work on the subject. The range of materials she draws on to make her case is truly impressive, her argument both original and persuasive."Hal Drake, author of Constantine and the Bishops
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Rapp suggests a different role, a three-part sense of authority that comes from spiritual, ascetic and pragmatic bases. The spiritual authority indicates a source of authority that is based in God, not in the worldly institutions or the man himself. Ascetic authority comes from the personal character and habits of the bishop - character is at issue, and what the bishop does is of primary concern. Finally, pragmatic authority derives in what the bishop does for and on behalf of others - it is also an action-based authority, but one that looks outside, not within.
Rapp organises the book into two major sections. The first compares bishops and holy men (desert fathers and others); the second compares bishops and other secular and/or civic leaders. The first section relies primarily from writings of and within the church; the second section looks to more independent sources. The chapters of the second section will be of special interest to those who have an interest in general late Roman history, as it describes in good detail and interesting writing the more general contexts of families, wealth and power, city/citizen life, and general imperial organisation in a post-Constantine world.
Rapp concludes the study with a survey of hagiographic material, looking at the way the more saintly of bishops were portrayed in the narratives of their lives. She contends that there is a discernable trend over the course of the late antiquity period in which the lives of the bishop-saints are shown to be more and more like the civic counterparts they have replaced in the overall civic/imperial structure.
Rapp does not take on the task of dealing with prominent figures, as many such histories might do. Figures such as Augustine and the Cappadocians and other key bishops of the time are not addressed specifically, so that a more general sense of the trends of the office and a more general survey of the office holders can be seen without the distortion that often occurs when historians deal with those who in statistical terms might be classified as outlying points away from the more typical stream.
It has a great index and a good bibliography (35 pages) of primary and secondary sources, very useful and up-to-date. Interesing, insightful, and accessible, the book is admittedly for a select audience of religious and historical scholars, but for this group, the book is a treat.