The following book has just been published in the
Gorgias Dissertations Series.
J. John Rufus and the World Vision of Anti-Chalcedonian
ISBN: 1-931956-09-X, Price:
Dissertations: Early Christian Studies 1
Paperback, xxxvii + 199 pp.
The main sources for our
knowledge about the opposition against Chalcedon in the Eastern Roman
Empire in the fifth century are the hagiographic works of the Palestinian
monk John Rufus, priest at Antioch and disciple of the great
anti-Chalcedonian leader Peter the Iberian at Gaza. There are, in all,
three works preserved from him, each work contributing in its own way to
our understanding of the underlying motives behind the anti-Chalcedonian
movement: the Life of Peter the Iberian, the Commemoration of the
Death of Theodosius, and the Plerophories.
The present study is an attempt to read the hagiographic works of
John Rufus in search for the specific cultural idiom that once made his
texts meaningful as communicative acts. Through these texts, we encounter
a culture that internally identified itself on the basis of the
self-confident claim of walking in the paths of the holy fathers. Its
external borders, in turn, were defined in terms of opposition to a
dominant culture, regarded as deeply polluted by the passions of
secularism. As part of the eastern monastic culture, it considered itself
a counter-culture guarding purity of ascetic conduct and orthodoxy from
being defiled by the perverseness of the majority. Reading John Rufus´
hagiography we find ourselves in the midst of a cosmological warfare
between good and evil, where the great heroes of the anti-Chalcedonian
movement enter into history as God's warriors against the rebellion of
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