Medieval bishops: A collective portrait [Средневековые епископы: коллективный портрет]

Medieval bishops are regarded as a special group of people, united by common occupation and common history. The qualities of a bishop listed in the Holy Scriptures, in the Epistles of St. Paul in particular, serve as the basis for the identification of this group. Throughout the Middle Ages, the fragment of I Epistle to Timothy (I Tim 3:1-7) served as the definition of an idealized bishop. The texts of hagiographic, historiographic, and epistolary genres show how the qualities of an idealized bishop could be realized in everyday life. The analysis of literary sources allows us to outline a circle of topoi that go back to the apostolic epistles and define a plan for describing the life of a bishop as a person with a circle of responsibilities inherent in his social group. The commandments of love for God and neighbor are revealed in the bishop's serving God and people. Serving God implies actions in the church, that is, consecration of the church's building, the celebration of mass, and the manifestation of personal piety, that is prayer, fasting, mortification of the flesh. Serving people is manifested in helping the poor, building, in protecting the borders of the diocese's territory. The bishop can act as a judge, adviser to the ruler, diplomat. All his actions fit into the scheme defined by St. Paul's Epistles to Titus and Timothy. © 2020 Ltd "Integration: Education and Science". All rights reserved.

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  • 1 A. M.Gorky Institute of World Literature, RAS, RUDN University Russian Federation, Moscow, Russian Federation
Ключевые слова
Charity; Construction; Episcopal service; I Epistle to Timothy; Judicial duties; Personal piety; Social group; The image of an idealized bishop
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