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Ambrose: De OfficiisEdited with an Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (Two Volume Set)$
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Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199245789

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0199245789.001.0001

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Constructing an Ecclesial Community: Ambrose's Ethical Vision

Constructing an Ecclesial Community: Ambrose's Ethical Vision

Chapter:
VII Constructing an Ecclesial Community: Ambrose's Ethical Vision
Source:
Ambrose: De Officiis
Author(s):

Ivor J. Davidson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199245789.003.0007

By the late 380s, Ambrose had emerged, to some extent, from the struggle to assert his authority that had marked his earlier years as bishop, though he still had enemies. De officiis is intended as a moral manifesto for this social context. It contains practical advice on ‘seemly’ behaviour, including speech, body language, attitudes, and actions, and on the importance of controlling the passions through reason. There is a strong emphasis on charity and on self–denial, including sexual abstinence. It is seen as vital for the church to present a convincing appearance to a watching world.

Keywords:   ‘Seemly’ behaviour, body language, charity, passions, self–denial, sexual abstinence, speech

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