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The aristocratic convert, Paulinus of Nola, was revered by contemporaries and correspondents, like Augustine of Hippo and Sulpicius Severus, as Paulinus noster - 'our Paulinus'.
But his role as a shaper of, and exemplar to, the early Christian Church has, until recently, been often overlooked.
This literate and accessible study examines the profound impact Paulinus had on Christian thought during a crucial period of its development.
His ideas on friendship, Christian symbolism, and the nature of personal identity were produced on the cusp of the transition from the classical world to the burgeoning Western Christian civilization by a thinker with strong links to both.
Paulinus' letters and other writings reveal the roots of many important strands of Christian thought; the works ofAugustine and others attest to this influence.
The letters of Paulinus and his correspondents portray an early Christian 'web' of shared concepts, intellectual discussion, and group development.
Catherine Conybeare examines how the very process of writing and transmitting letters between members of a far-flung community helped to bind that community together and to aid the creation of ideas which would continue to reverberate for centuries after. 'Our Paulinus' was key to that group iconic as a model of behaviour, as a conversion successstory, and as a intellectual contributor able to bridge the old world and the new.
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