A Burden of Obedience? The Diaconate of Gregory the Great as Preparation for the Papacy

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Abstract

In several of his letters, Gregory the Great regrets the loss of monastic contemplatio as a result of his ordination as deacon and, later, bishop. With hindsight, the years he served as deacon were a preparation for the papacy. This paper explores the possibility of an alternative view on the diaconate of Gregory the Great. Not only was it far from unusual for a deacon to become the next bishop, Gregory’s background and experience made him an obvious candidate for the papacy. So, was Gregory just a reluctant deacon, or can one argue that becoming a deacon was also perceived as a logical next step?
Original languageEnglish
JournalStudia Patristica
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019
EventXVIII International Conference on Patristic Studies Oxford - Oxford, United Kingdom
Duration: 19 Aug 201924 Aug 2019
https://www.oxfordpatristics.com

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