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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

On Thu, 25 Sep 2008 23:42:33 -0700, Larry Swain wrote:

>medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

>> Right - I seem to recall reading something that supports
>> that.  Of course, the whole culture of the era offers a host
>> of reasons both men would wind up in 
>> Rome (it seems almost inevitable at some level). 

>I haven't followed the whole thread.....so if I'm merely repeating information, please forgive me.  On the one hand your statement is quite right.  On the 
other hand, there is evidence that Peter didn't make it to Rome and that the story, though early, that he died there (I Clement) is false.  For one thing, there's 
the ossuary with Christian symbols and the name Simon bar Jona inscribed on it.  Michael Goulder wrote on this a few years ago in the Scottish Journal of 
Theology,  (2004), 57 : 377-396 "Did Peter Ever Go to Rome?  He makes some compelling arguments, but I don't think he's successful at explaining I 
Clement away.

I'll admit not being familiar with the ossuary in question but now am curious.  Equally, I'll admit a tendency to prefer I Clement over "recent discoveries" since 
we all know how dubious some of those can be (like the "James brother of Jesus" debacle).  Equally equally, I've no delusions about someone even as 
close to events like Clement making a case for oral traditions which may, or may not, have basis in fact.  While the claims of I Clement don't seem to have 
any counter-arguements (that I'm aware of) from contemporary writers, that doesn't mean that during the controversies with the Gnostics that such writings 
didn't disappear. . . 

I've seen some argue from Acts and the Pauline canonical corpus that there is no evidence that Peter was in Rome, however I don't (personally) find those 
arguements compelling for a host of reasons.  Goulder's article should make for fascinating reading.



> Having
>> both Peter and Paul die in Rome and being able to lay claim
>> to their relics seems to have been a 
>> factor in Rome's "primacy" or honored
>> position (as described by the Council of Chalcedon - or was
>> it Ephesus?).

>Pope Leo had been arguing it for awhile, but it was finally spelled out at Chalcedon, canon XXVIII reads: "And the One Hundred and Fifty most religious 
Bishops, actuated by the same consideration, gave equal privileges to the most holy throne of New Rome, justly judging that the city which is honoured with 
the Sovereignty and the Senate and enjoys equal privileges with the old imperial Rome, should in ecclesiastical matters also be magnified as she is, and 
rank next after her."


YES - thanks - that's the reference I was thinking of.  

One of the things I've found curious about Roman primacy is that elements of it seem to be nascent already with I Clement (the fact that a Roman bishop - 
whatever his nature - is intervening in the affairs of another "particular" Church) and the whole Quartodeciman controversey particularly with Victor.  I'm kind 
of a mind that the Petrine primacy reflected in the NT is more about Peter than Rome (as some have argued in regard to Cyprian's emphasis on Peter in 
"The Unity of the Catholic Church" but I wonder how much distinction there was between "Peter" and the bishop of Rome during the time in question.  The 
Chalcedonian declaration seems something of an affirmation of tradition - although one can certainly still argue with how Roman primacy develops, 
particularly from the Gregorian Reform onward. . . 

And it does seem that possesion of personal relics were commonly used to support various church's claims to orthodoxy and status.  During the 
Quartodecimen controversy in the 2nd century the Q. bishops argued that not only did they follow a tradition established by John, but also argued that they 
had John's remains and the remains of other apostolic notables . . . I'm pretty sure that's in Eusebius' history, but thought there was an earlier writing that 
argued it as well. . . 

>> I've always found it curious that Paul seems to have
>> faded into the background by the third century, at least as
>> far as a "player" in Roman primacy and 
>> (apparently) even pilgrimage.  

>I'm always surprised by the pilgrimage aspect, but not the primacy.  After all, Peter knew Jesus in the flesh and spirit and was the first leader of the 
Jerusalem church.  Paul, while important for the church, wasn't known to have done major miracles and by his own confession didn't know the human 
Jesus, so his role in arguing the primacy of Rome is small.

>Larry Swain


True, that - not that such a minor factor seems to have made Paul inclined to "kiss the fisherman's ring" ;-))

George the Less

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