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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

On-line version ISSN 2412-4265
Print version ISSN 1017-0499


DE WET, Chris L. The Cappadocian fathers on slave management. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2013, vol.39, n.1. ISSN 2412-4265.

The aim of this article is to investigate the views of the three Cappadocian fathers, namely Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory of Nazianzus, on how to manage slaves. The article approaches slaveholding as a habitus. Firstly, Basil of Caesarea's views are examined. Basil's views on slave management were based on the principle that slaves should still remain obedient and submissive to their masters, but that masters should treat their slaves justly. He especially discusses slave management as the management of wealth and sexuality. Secondly, Gregory of Nazianzus's views, especially from his testament, highlighted the importance of managing slaves after death. It is also a window into the realities of clerics and churches managing slancient treatise against mastery and the viceves. Finally, Gregory of Nyssa's fourth homily on Ecclesiastes can be described as the ancienttreatise against mastery and the vice of pride, since this is the angle from which he criticises slave management. The homily is indeed proof that ancient authors were able to think outside the habitus of Roman slaveholding.

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