The Religious Other in the Histories of Gregory of Tours


  • Kamil Choda Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland



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


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.


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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.