Thank you for joining us for
The St. Ignatius Loyola Chair Lecture
From Rivalry to Revelry: Modes of Reception in Early Christian Poetry and Worship
Brian Dunkle, S.J., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Historical Theology, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
Fordham University Loyal Chair, 2023-2024
Wednesday, November 1, 4 p.m. (event has passed)
Rose Hill | Walsh Library | Special Collections Room
As Christian poets gained status and influence in the Roman Empire, they wrote out of aemulatio, that is, the desire to rival and surpass the great pagan poets of antiquity, such as Homer and Vergil. Yet when they engaged new Christian classics, especially the Bible and the church’s creeds, any attempt at aemulatio would be equivalent to heresy. Thus, two modes of imitation inform early Christian poetry: one that rivals literary authorities and another that revels in theological authorities. This lecture explored the interaction of these two modes not only in selected works of ambitious Christian verse, but also in the celebratory hymns of the church’s worship.