History of Christianity

Religion and Theology

History of Christianity

Peter Brown-THE CULT OF THE SAINTS

1. Tell me what Brown means when he writes that late antique Christianity focused obsessively on the “strange flash that could occur when two hitherto distinct categories joined in the back of men’s minds” (3)?

2. Characterize the debate in late antique Christian circles regarding family, community, and the dead, as Brown discusses this.

3. Explain what Brown relates about the interest among late antique bishops to control relic cult; why was this important to them, according to Brown?

4. In what way did some late antique women and men regard the saints as “friends,” according to Brown? In the process of addressing this question, be sure to discuss late antique notions of friendship. What was the role of friendship with the saints among Christians in late antiquity?

5. Based on your reading of Brown, discuss the relationship among holy person, relic, and resurrection body.

6. What was the role of relics in late antiquity, according to Brown? Or, what was the role of the saint in late antiquity?

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