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Tätige Nächstenliebe in Werk und Wirken Gregors des Grossen

In Arnold Smeets, Gregory the Great, Mohr Siebeck, Patristics, Susanne Barth on June 9, 2022 at 9:47 pm

2022.06.07 | Susanne Barth. Tätige Nächstenliebe in Werk und Wirken Gregors des Grossen. Studien und Texte zu Antike und Christentum 122. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2021. ISBN 978-3-16-156303-4. pp. xiii, 449.

Review by Arnold Smeets, Tilburg School of Catholic Theology, Utrecht.

The English title of this book, as mentioned on the publisher’s website: Acts of Charity in the Works and Endeavours of Gregory the Great, is clear enough, but, I think, misses an important point. Susanne Barth’s book is not just on the acts of charity but more on active charity. Gregory the Great was focused on doing charity, making the difference, both in words and in deeds. His diaconal-caritative theology of active neighbourly love (‘eine diakonisch-karitative Theologie der tätigen Nächstenliebe’, 392), is not so much an effect of a vision after studying and contemplating Scripture, but more the foundation, inspiration and blueprint of how he saw his mission as a Christian Roman and (later) bishop of Rome.

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