Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Maria Doerfler: Keeping it in the Family: The law and the Law in Ambrose of Milan’s Letters

The question of the proper relationship between Christianity and its “elder brother,” Judaism, has troubled Patristic writers from the tradition’s very beginnings.  The Mosaic law played a central and particularly challenging role in these discussions:  few sought to dismiss it entirely, yet strategies for its incorporation into a narrative of Christian identity varied.  This paper examines one of Ambrose of Milan’s exegetical endeavors to make sense of Jewish/Christian “family relations.”  By reading the Hebrew Scriptures intertextually with Roman civil law, Ambrose could affirm Jews as co-heirs to the Kingdom while simultaneously stripping them of any claim to their heritage.  

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