Susan R. Holman examines the theme of poverty in the fourth-century sermons of Basil of Caesarea, Gregory Nazianzen, and Gregory Nysson. These sermons are especially important for what they tell us about the history of poverty relief and the role of fourth century Christian theology in constructing the body of the redemptive, involuntary poor. Some of the topics explored include the contextualization of the poor in scholarship, the poor in late antiquity, and starvation and famine dynamics. In exploring this relationship between cultural context and theological language, this volume offers a broad and fresh overview of these little-studied texts.

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