Bishops in Flight: Exile and Displacement in Late Antiquity

Bishops in Flight: Exile and Displacement in Late Antiquity

by Jennifer Barry

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Flight during times of persecution has a long and fraught history in early Christianity.
In the third century, bishops who fled were considered cowards or, worse yet, heretics. On the face, flight meant denial of Christ and thus betrayal of faith and community. But by the fourth century, the terms of persecution changed as Christianity became the favored cult of the Roman Empire. Prominent Christians who fled and survived became founders and influencers of Christianity over time. 
Bishops in Flight examines the various ways these episcopal leaders both appealed to and altered the discourse of Christian flight to defend their status as purveyors of Christian truth, even when their exiles appeared to condemn them. Their stories illuminate how profoundly Christian authors deployed theological discourse and the rhetoric of heresy to respond to the phenomenal political instability of the fourth and fifth centuries.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520300378
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 04/23/2019
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 680,892
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Jennifer Barry is Assistant Professor of Religion at University of Mary Washington.

Table of Contents


The Discourse of Flight
Explorations of Exile
Episcopal Exile
Models of Exile
Heresiology and Exile
Episcopal Exile and Displacement
Outline of Book

1. Athanasius of Alexandria in Flight
How to Construct a Model City: Alexandria
If These Walls Could Talk: Defense Before Constantius
A Wall-Less Desert: Defense of His Flight
A Model City without Walls: Life of Antony

2. How to Return from Flight
How to Rehabilitate a Failed Bishop: Gregory of Nazianzus
How to Construct a Model City: Constantinople
A Model Exile:
In Praise of Basil the Great
A Model Return:
In Praise of Athanasius

3. John Chrysostom in Flight
A Man in Flight: John Chrysostom
How to Construct a Model City: Antioch
Bishops Who Die in Flight: Meletius of Antioch
How Not to Flee: Theophilus of Alexandria
Bishops Who Do Not Return

4. To Rehabilitate and Return a Bishop in Flight
How to Diagnose Exile: Ps.-Martyrius’s Funerary Speech
How to
Interpret Exile: Palladius of Helenopolis’s Dialogue on the
Life of John Chrysostom

How to Return from Exile: Athanasius and John Chrysostom

5. To Condemn a Bishop in Flight
How to Condemn a Model City: Nicomedia
An Unorthodox Return from Flight: Eusebius of Nicomedia
How to Rehabilitate a Bishop: Philostorgius of Cappadocia’s
Ecclesiastical History
How to Condemn a Model Exile: Socrates of Constantinople’s
Ecclesiastical History
How to Rehabilitate a Condemned City: Theodoret of Cyrrhus’s
Ecclesiastical History

6. Remembering Exile
Remembering a Not-So-Model City: Antioch
Martyrs and Bishops in Flight
How to Remember Orthodox Flight: Sozomen of Constantinople’s
Ecclesiastical History
Competing Memories: Socrates and Sozomen



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