The Religious Other in the Histories of Gregory of Tours

Authors

  • Kamil Choda Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.12797/CC.17.2014.17.01

Keywords:

Christianity, Jews, heresy, Arians, historiography, Late Antiquity

Abstract

The Religious Other in the Histories of Gregory of Tours

The question of the religious other is discussed from the perspective Gregory of Tours himself would have identified with: namely, that of eternal salvation (a necessary prerequisite for which is embracing the Catholic doctrine) or condemnation Arians, Jews and Catholics lapsed into heresy shall eventually face. Gregory’s portrayal of the followers of Arius (who, according to him, not only cannot be called Christians, but follow in footsteps of pagan Roman persecutors of Christianity) is discussed; the futility of theological debate as a mean to influence those non‑Trinitarians is showed and the miraculous is stressed as the only effective tool of gaining them for the Church. Secondly, the question of Jews in Gregory’s narrative: their loss of the chosen people status, their inability to read the Old Testament Christologically and their not partaking in the miraculous that proved so decisive for the conversion of Arians is stressed; the political pressure of secular and ecclesiastical authorities is presented as the only, albeit ineffective, way of integrating members of the Jewish community into the Church. Finally, the learned heresies produced by the Church elite, that can be effectively addressed by employing the theological discourse and hierarchical admonition, are contrasted with the unrest caused among common people by popular prophets challenging the Church authority and her monopoly on the miraculous.

References

Blume I., 1970, Das Menschenbild Gregors von Tours in den Historiarum libri X, Erlangen.

De Nie G., 1987, Views from a many windowed tower: studies of imagination in the works of Gregory of Tours, Amsterdam.

Goffart W., 1988, The narrators of barbarian history, Yale.

Heinzelmann M., 2001, Gregory of Tours: history and society in the sixth century, Cambridge.

Keely A., 1997, ‘Arians and Jews in the “Histories“ of Gregory of Tours’, Journal of Medieval History, 23, 2, pp. 103‑115.

Krusch B., Levison W. (eds.), 1951, Gregorii episcopi Turonensis Historiarum libri X, Hannoverae (Monumenta Germaniae Historica Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum 1,1) .

Rey A. (dir.), 2010, Dictionnaire historique de la langue française, Paris [electronic document].

Thürlemann F., 1974, Der historische Diskurs bei Gregor von Tours: Topoi und Wirklichkeit, Bern.

Vlach M. J., 2009, ‘Various forms of replacement theology’, Master’s Seminary Journal, 20, 1, pp. 57‑69.

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Published

2014-12-31

How to Cite

Choda, K. “The Religious Other in the Histories of Gregory of Tours”. Classica Cracoviensia, vol. 17, Dec. 2014, pp. 5-19, doi:10.12797/CC.17.2014.17.01.

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