Jerome of Stridon and the Ethics of Literary Production in Late Antiquity

Author: Thomas E. Hunt
In Jerome of Stridon and the Ethics of Literary Production in Late Antiquity Thomas E. Hunt argues that Jerome developed a consistent theology of language and the human body that inflected all of his writing projects. In doing so, the book challenges and recasts the way that this important figure in Late Antiquity has been understood. This study maps the first seven years of Jerome’s time in Bethlehem (386–393). Treating his commentaries on Paul, his hagiography, his controversy with Jovinian, his correspondence with Augustine, and his translation of Hebrew, the book shows Jerome to be immersed in the exciting and dangerous currents moving through late antique Christianity.

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Thomas E. Hunt is Senior Lecturer in Theology at Newman University, Birmingham.

 1 Knowing Jerome: Reading and Communities
 2 The Ethics of Literary Production in Late Antiquity
 3 Jerome’s Biography
 4 Reconstructing Jerome’s Ethics of Literary Production

1 Writing across the Sea: Jerome’s Commentaries on Philemon and Titus
 1 Introduction
 2 Jerome’s Pauline Commentaries
 3 Ethics and the Pauline Renaissance of Fourth-Century Rome
 4 Literary Production and the Commentary Form
 5 Scriptural Reading and the Ethics of Literary Production in the Prefaces to the Commentaries on Titus and Philemon
 6 Conclusion

2 Recapitulation and Literary Ethics in the Commentary on Ephesians
 1 Introduction
 2 Eph. 1.10b in Jerome’s Commentary: Coherence and Incoherence
  2.1  The Coherence of Jerome’s Comment on Ephesians 1:10b
  2.2  The Incoherence of Jerome’s Comment on Ephesians 1:10b
 3 Recapitulation and Typology in Jerome’s Comment on Eph. 1:10b
  3.1  The Theology of Reading: Recapitulation and Typology from Paul to Tyconius
  3.2  Ephesians 1:10b and the Eschatological Ethics of Reading
 4 Conclusion

3 Imitation in the Commentary on Ephesians
 1 Imitating the Apostle in the Ephesians Commentary
 2 Proverbs 8:22 and the Christian Life in the Commentary
 3 The Commentary on Ephesians as a Product of Mimēsis
 4 ‘Learning Christ’ and Conscientia
 5 Conclusion

4 Reading and Being in the Commentary on Ephesians
 1 Christology, Reading and ‘Passing Over’
 2 Familiarity, Difference and Abjection
 3 A Performance of Scriptural Reading: Ephesians 3:16–19
 4 Conclusion

5 Hebrew in Jerome’s Literary Production
 1 Introduction
 2 Hebrew in the Late Ancient Mediterranean
 3 The Stability of the Hebraica Veritas
 4 Ethics and the Disruption of Order
 5 Conclusion

6 Ethics and the Self in the Life of Hilarion
 1 Introduction
 2 The Context of the Life of Hilarion
  2.1  The Experience of the Holy Places in Letter 46
  2.2  The Pharisees
 3 The Life of Hilarion
 4 The Ethics of Seeing
 5 Authorial Practice and the Imitation of Christ
 6 Narrating ‘Particular Virtues’
 7 Conclusion

7 Paul and the Incarnation in Jerome’s Commentary on Galatians
 1 Introduction
 2 Galatians 2:11–14 in Jerome’s Commentary and His Letter 49
 3 Augustine and the Problem of Pedagogic Pretence
 4 Language, Reading and Simulatio in Jerome
 5 Conclusion

8 Against Jovinian and Ascetic Responsibility
 1 Baptism and Cosmic Order in the Teaching of Jovinian
 2 The Diversity of Human Society in Against Jovinian
 3 The Incarnation as the Model of Human Behaviour
 4 Soteriology and Responsibility
 5 Conclusion

9 On Famous Men and the Ruins of Late Antiquity
 1 Introduction
 2 Origen’s Fifth Homily on Luke: Ruined Cities and Empty Signs
 3 On Famous Men and a Universal Christianity
 4 The Ruin of Stridon and the Memory of Jerome
 5 Conclusion


Those interested in late antquity, particularly the development of asceticism, hagiography, biblical interpretation, language, and Christian theology. It will be of especial relevance to those working on Jerome, Augustine, and Ambrose.