Download Ambrose (The Early Church Fathers) by Boniface Ramsey PDF

By Boniface Ramsey

St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan from 374 to 397, was once essentially the most vital figures of the fourth century Roman empire. This quantity explores the large effect of Ambrose on Western civilization, and examines the complexity of his rules and impact; as a poet, ascetic, mystic and flesh presser. Ambrose combines an updated account of his existence and paintings, with translations of key writings. Ramsey's quantity offers a accomplished and obtainable perception right into a rather unexplored personality and argues that Ambrose has encouraged the Western global in methods as but unrealized.

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Here Ambrose decided that the best course was to effect a compromise between the parties, while acknowledging that not everyone would be completely satisfied. Finally, it fell to bishops in antiquity to reconcile sinners to the Church. Ambrose did this not only in the famous instance of Theodosius but, if we are to trust his biographer, in numerous others also. Paulinus speaks movingly of Ambrose’s sympathy for the sinners who confessed their offenses to him: ‘he so wept as to compel the other person to weep as well, for he seemed to himself to be cast down along with anyone else who was cast down’ (39).

It also meant arranging for and attending synods and councils. Ambrose participated in at least six of these, and possibly more (in addition to the local synods that he probably held once a year around Eastertime in Milan). The first of these took place at Sirmium in the second half of the 370s. Although Ambrose had only recently been elected bishop, he was the natural leader of the gathering both because of the importance of Milan and because of his connections with the highest circles in Sirmium.

Sometimes, as visitors arrived, they might even have found him absorbed in his reading, trying to snatch a few moments of quiet from a busy schedule. Augustine relates that at such occasions he would not interrupt him, but most likely not everyone was so sensitive. As a kind of unintentional testimony to his approachability, Paulinus recounts an incident that occurred when Ambrose was a guest at the home of a distinguished Roman matron (cf. 10). A female bathkeeper—in other words, a woman of very low social standing—sought him out because she had heard that he was nearby 37 INTRODUCTION and she believed that he could cure the paralysis that had disabled her.

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