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- DescriptionThe Life of Saint Helia, a late ancient Latin hagiography of uncertain provenance, is a remarkable and virtually unkwn text, of which a critical edition and English translation appear here for the first time, accompanied by an introduction and commentary. Written predominately in dialogue format, the Life records a lengthy and highly polemical debate between a young girl Helia and her mother regarding the relative merits of virginity and marriage, followed by a dialogue between Helia and a bishop and a debate between Helia and a judge. The arguments both for and against virginity are biblically based, and the text is table for its citational density and exegetical creativity. The dramatic narrative that frames the dialogue appears to have been influenced by the apocryphal Acts of Paul and Thecla, while the speeches suggest familiarity with the virginity apologetics of Ambrose and Jerome; because the Life has is preserved in only two medieval manuscripts, both from rthern Spain, a Priscillianist context of composition is possible. This lively work will be of great interest to students of hagiography, asceticism, women's history, and biblical exegesis.
- Author BiographyEdited by Virginia Burrus, Professor of Early Church History and Chair of the Graduate Division of Religion, Drew University, and Marco Conti, Professor of Classics, Chicago Loyola University, John Felice Center.
- PublisherOxford University Press
- Date of Publication03/12/2015
- SubjectChristian History & Denominations
- Series TitleOxford Early Christian Texts
- Place of PublicationOxford
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintOxford University Press
- Weight352 g
- Width157 mm
- Height231 mm
- Spine12 mm
- Edited byMarco Conti,Virginia Burrus
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