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John Rufus and the World Vision of Anti-Chalcedonean Culture

Second Revised Edition


This book deals with the works of the anti-Chalcedonian hagiographer, John Rufus, and traces the basic motives behind the opposition against the council of Chalcedon in the fifth century through an attempt to reconstruct a specific anti-Chalcedonian culture. As part of the eastern monastic culture, it considered itself a counter-culture guarding purity of ascetic conduct and orthodoxy from being defiled by the perverseness of the majority. Reading John Rufus' hagiography, we find ourselves in the midst of a cosmological warfare between good and evil, where the great heroes of the anti-Chalcedonian movement enter into history as God's warriors against the rebellion of demons and heretics.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0389-4
  • *
Publication Status: In Print
Publication Date: Jul 11,2014
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 232
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0389-4
$85.00

The main sources for our knowledge about the opposition against Chalcedon in the fifth-century Eastern Roman Empire are the hagiographic works of the Palestinian monk, John Rufus, priest at Antioch and disciple of the great anti-Chalcedonian leader, Peter the Iberian, at Gaza. In all, there are three works preserved from him, each one contributing in its own way to our understanding of the underlying motives behind the anti-Chalcedonian movement: the Life of Peter the Iberian, the Commemoration of the Death of Theodosius, and the Plerophories.

The present study is an attempt to read the hagiographic works of John Rufus in search for the specific cultural idiom that once made his texts meaningful as communicative acts. Through these texts, we encounter a culture that internally identified itself on the basis of the self-confident claim of walking in the paths of the holy fathers. Its external borders, in turn, were defined in terms of opposition to a dominant culture, regarded as deeply polluted by the passions of secularism. As part of the eastern monastic culture, it considered itself a counter-culture guarding purity of ascetic conduct and orthodoxy from being defiled by the perverseness of the majority. Reading John Rufus' hagiography, we find ourselves in the midst of a cosmological warfare between good and evil, where the great heroes of the anti-Chalcedonian movement enter into history as God's warriors against the rebellion of demons and heretics.

The main sources for our knowledge about the opposition against Chalcedon in the fifth-century Eastern Roman Empire are the hagiographic works of the Palestinian monk, John Rufus, priest at Antioch and disciple of the great anti-Chalcedonian leader, Peter the Iberian, at Gaza. In all, there are three works preserved from him, each one contributing in its own way to our understanding of the underlying motives behind the anti-Chalcedonian movement: the Life of Peter the Iberian, the Commemoration of the Death of Theodosius, and the Plerophories.

The present study is an attempt to read the hagiographic works of John Rufus in search for the specific cultural idiom that once made his texts meaningful as communicative acts. Through these texts, we encounter a culture that internally identified itself on the basis of the self-confident claim of walking in the paths of the holy fathers. Its external borders, in turn, were defined in terms of opposition to a dominant culture, regarded as deeply polluted by the passions of secularism. As part of the eastern monastic culture, it considered itself a counter-culture guarding purity of ascetic conduct and orthodoxy from being defiled by the perverseness of the majority. Reading John Rufus' hagiography, we find ourselves in the midst of a cosmological warfare between good and evil, where the great heroes of the anti-Chalcedonian movement enter into history as God's warriors against the rebellion of demons and heretics.

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Contributor

Jan-Eric Steppa

  • Preface and Acknowledgments (page 7)
  • Contents (page 9)
  • Abbreviations (page 11)
  • Introduction (page 13)
  • 1. The Stage of the Resistance (page 37)
  • 2. The Texts (page 93)
  • 3. The Images of Authority (page 119)
  • 4. Signs and Revelations (page 151)
  • 5. The Image of the Enemies (page 181)
  • Conclusion (page 201)
  • Bibliography (page 213)
  • Index (page 225)
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