This chapter starts from the description of Cyprian, the 3rd-century bishop of Carthage, to sum up the principal conclusions of the book: recognition of the pre-eminent place of episcopal almsgiving amongst other distinct forms of Christian poor relief; its centrality to the construction of a bishop's moral standing in life and literature; and also the degree to which the bishop enabled others to share in the honourable care of the poor through the discourse of Christian generosity. Attention to the discourse surrounding the practices of almsgiving is essential to their proper evaluation.
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