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Products for grant FA-58215-15

The Early Evolution of Christian Philanthropy
Daniel Caner, University of Connecticut

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The Rich and the Pure: Philanthropy and the Making of Christian Society in Early Byzantium (Book) [show prizes]
Title: The Rich and the Pure: Philanthropy and the Making of Christian Society in Early Byzantium
Author: Daniel Caner
Abstract: As the Roman Empire broke down in western Europe, its stability and prosperity moved decisively to the east, producing history's first truly affluent, multi-faceted Christian society, in what is now known as the Byzantine Empire. What united the twenty-four million people living in this vast realm--Roman citizens all, but as diverse as the landscape itself--was a shared conviction in the Christian ideal of philanthrò„pia. In this sweeping cultural and social history of Christian philanthropy, Daniel Caner shows this practice involved more than simply a love of humanity; it required living up to Jesus's injunction to 'Give to all who ask of you' by offering mercy and material aid to every human being, whatever their origin or status. Yet this commitment to the common good arose in an aristocratic society marked by sharp gradations of rank and privilege and dominated by an official church experiencing explosive growth and unprecedented affluence. In tracking the evolution of distinctive ideals and modes of Christian giving over three centuries, Caner brings to the fore the people of Byzantium, from the countryside to the lower levels of urban society to the elites, and the complex, hierarchical relationships that these gifts fostered among them. Drawing on an immense range of evidence, The Rich and the Pure offers nothing less than a portrait of the whole of early Byzantine society.
Year: 2021
Primary URL:
Publisher: University of California Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9780520381599
Copy sent to NEH?: No