The definitive work in English on this truly larger-than-life figure in the history of the Church. St. Gregory (540-604) became Pope in 590, and during his papacy changed the face of his office, of the Church, and in many ways, of Western civilization. His influence was multifaceted: As a monk, he knew the happiest years of his life and embraced an asceticism that pervaded his spirituality and theology; as an administrator, he was a bulwark against the chaos that was engulfing Italy and a champion of an independent papacy, which became a model for the medieval papacy; pastorally, his practical and authoritative Rule became the standard for the medieval episcopate; as to preaching, his homilies on Ezekiel and on the Gospels were fundamental examples for medieval exegetes; and in hagiography, his dialogues created a genre that embraced countless collections throughout the Middle Ages. Carole Straw sympathetically relates the contours, paradoxes, and subtleties in the character of this figure who was the singular link between the late antique and medieval worlds. CONTENTS: Microcosm and Mediator - A Sacramental Vision - The Saint and the Social Meaning of Stability - Soliditas Caritatis - Lubrica Mutabilitas - The Logic of Asceticism - The Mediator of God and Man - The God-Man and the New Dispensation - The Sacrifice of a Contrite Heart - Reform and the Preacher - The Just Penitent - Constantia Mentis.
An Eighth Day View:
Gregory I (590-604) is often considered the first medieval pope and the first exponent of a truly medieval spirituality. Carole Straw places Gregory in his historical context and considers the many facets of his personality--monk, preacher, and pope--in order to elucidate the structure of his thought and present a unified, thematic interpretation of his spiritual concerns.