Theodoret's People

Theodoret's People : Social Networks and Religious Conflict in Late Roman Syria

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"Theodoret's People" sheds new light on religious clashes of the mid-fifth century regarding the nature (or natures) of Christ. Adam M. Schor focuses on Theodoret, bishop of Cyrrhus, his Syrian allies, and his opponents, led by Alexandrian bishops Cyril and Dioscorus. Although both sets of clerics adhered to the Nicene creed, their contrasting theological statements led to hostilities, violence, and the permanent fracturing of the Christian community. Schor closely examines council transcripts, correspondence, and other records of communication. Using social network theory, he argues that Theodoret's doctrinal coalition was actually a meaningful community, bound by symbolic words and traditions, riven with internal rivalries, and embedded in a wider world of elite friendship and patronage.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 360 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 30.48mm | 544.31g
  • University of California Press
  • Berkerley, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 20 line illustrations
  • 0520268628
  • 9780520268623
  • 1,720,011

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Review quote

"Makes a major contribution to our understanding of late-antique Roman society." Catholic Historical Review "A pleasure to read... A valuable contribution to scholarship." Hugoye: Journal Of Syriac Studies

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Flap copy

Adam Schor explores the social and doctrinal role of Theodoret in a novel and lively way, making use of social theory, and seeing Theodoret's activities and contacts against the rich documentation provided by the great ecclesiastical controversies of his time. Fergus Millar, author of "A Greek Roman Empire: Power and Belief under Theodosius II, 408-450" Schor's proposal that modern social network theory is the key to understanding Theodoret of Cyrus's social positioning and mode of controversy makes for compelling reading. His nuanced yet powerful analysis shows the continued relevance of socio-scientific methods for understanding the history of late antique Christianity. Richard Lim, author of "Public Disputation, Power and Social Order in Late Antiquity" "Adam Schor has written a lively and incisive study of a notoriously difficult era. Mining the substantial (but greatly understudied) letter collections of the times, applying the insights of network theory, and boldly taking on the entire corpus of Theodoret's writingsan ambitious project in itselfSchor has produced strikingly fresh material throughout. With rich insight and rigorous attention to detail, Schor opens new vistas on the late antique landscape. Thought-provoking at every turn! Susan Ashbrook Harvey, author of "Scenting Salvation: Ancient Christianity and the Olfactory Imagination" "

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About Adam M. Schor

Adam M. Schor is Assistant Professor of History at the University of South Carolina.

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