In 1894 Germain Morin identified a collection of 31 Pseudo-Chrysostomic sermons as the work of a single late antique Latin author. Although widely read in the Middle Ages, there is still little consensus about where or when this author wrote. Morin himself originally proposed sixth-century Naples, Adalbert de Vogüé noticed parallels with the Rule of the Master, and, most recently, Jean-Paul Bouhot and Francois Leroy have argued for fifth-century North Africa. This paper explores the collection’s contextual clues, pre-baptismal liturgy, and anti-Arian and anti-Pelagian theology to make a case for considering it the product of clerical circles within Ostrogothic Rome. The author may have been writing during the Second Semi-Pelagian Controversy (519–529 CE), perhaps in direct dialogue with Fulgentius of Ruspe. He displays an attitude towards human free will that is surprisingly similar to Boethius’s and may have been a member of the circles of Boethius, Proba, and the deacon John in the early 520s.
The exorcism of Michael Taylor in 1974, which led to murder, pushed Anglican exorcisms into the public gaze. This article proposes a particular trajectory of Anglicanism and the preternatural into popular culture and popular awareness of religion. The Taylor case was one of the catalysts for private anxiety among clergy about the preternatural in the Church of England. By the early 1970s, some clergy ignited public debate including open letters and television appearances to declare the Church of England should not exorcise and complete belief in the accounts of the Gospels was not necessary. Their debate moved to television, some clergy declaring on talk shows the Church should not exorcise, others consenting to be filmed exorcising. Clergy exorcising on screen gave visual cues and content to fictional drama that traversed different genres and channels. This article identifies a common element to drama showcasing the Church and the preternatural, showing the institution and its clergy as weak or absent in the face of evil. Drama brought to the fore clerical concerns that engaging publicly with the preternatural made the Church seem theologically confused and denuded of spiritual authority, a point reinforced by the tragic real-world consequences of the Anglican exorcism of Michael Taylor.
In various cultures around the world, past and present, many natural and cultural sites are deemed sacred. What are sacred landscapes? What are the spiritual foundations for their formation? How are they formed? How are they protected? The answers to these questions help frame a discussion of sacred landscapes within the context of their meaning, origin, and management processes as lived experiences of specific societies. In Tanzania the linkages between biodiversity and the worldview of a society have partly been acknowledged but remain unexplored. This paper applies a mixed research approach to studying sacred forests among the Bena community of Njombe in Tanzania. Rather than looking exclusively at the sacred forests in themselves as places, the paper underscores the linkage of human-nature-spirituality as key in explaining the history of sacred forests. It establishes that, among the Bena, the sacredness of a place was founded on the relationship between the visible and the invisible worlds – relations that led to the formation of various mystical-religious homelands’ sacred places that are protected through mythologies.