By Catherine Conybeare
This literate and obtainable research examines the profound impression Paulinus had on Christian inspiration in the course of a very important interval of its improvement. The letters of Paulinus and his correspondents painting an early Christian 'web' of shared thoughts, highbrow dialogue, and staff improvement. Catherine Conybeare examines how the very strategy of writing and transmitting letters among individuals of a neighborhood helped to bind that neighborhood jointly and to assist the construction of rules which might proceed to reverberate for hundreds of years. Paulinus used to be key to that workforce iconic as a version of habit, as a conversion good fortune tale, and as an highbrow contributor capable of bridge the previous international and the hot.
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Extra resources for Paulinus Noster: Self and Symbols in the Letters of Paulinus of Nola (Oxford Early Christian Studies)
1: ‘frater Victor, inter alias operum tuorum et votorum narrationes . . 175 Indeed, the carrier is often described as a ‘second letter’. Augustine again provides a good example: ‘sanctos fratres Romanum et Agilem, aliam epistulam vestram audientem voces atque reddentem et suavissimam partem vestrae praesentiae . . 176 The carrier thus performs an extraordinarily liminal role. He is an independent agent, and comments are passed on him as such; but he is also representative of something beyond himself.
177 Paulinus, Letter 27. 2. 178 Paulinus, Letter 6. 3. 179 There is something more powerful than representation here: the carrier is patently assigned great vicarious signiﬁcance. The patterns of thought beginning to emerge from the letters of Paulinus apparently delight in overthrowing the obvious boundaries set by embodiment in favour of a spirituality of integration and paradox: such patterns are particularly thrown into relief by the liminality of the carriers. This will be explored further in Chapter 6; for the time being, it sufﬁces to observe that a carrier is very far from being a mere mechanism, or a transparent relayer of others' words.
That such an existence should be signiﬁcant for the way in which friendships are formulated and sustained should be immediately apparent; but, as I shall argue, a sense of community is of equal signiﬁcance in formulating a sense of self. Finally, the impression of a conscious creation and enactment of new ideas about how to live a Christian life pervades the letters of Paulinus and his correspondents. These are often based upon the notion of imitation as a positive, 18 INTRODUCTION creative concept—an oddity in this age which prizes ‘originality’, but, as we shall see, a fundamental aspect of engagement with Christ for Paulinus and his peers.