Mos Christianorum : the Roman discourse of exemplarity and the Jewish and Christian language of leadership
Talbot School of Theology
The preferred moral curriculum of a Roman education abounded with exemplary stories of Rome's native heroes. To inculcate conceptions of virtuous leadership, politicians and populace alike deployed exempla as rhetorical vehicles of the mos maiorum (way of the ancestors). James Petitfils explores Jewish and Christian participation in this widespread pedagogical practice. After surveying Roman discourse on exemplary leadership, the author consults several texts, written in significantly Romanized environments, celebrating Jewish or Christian ancestral leaders (Josephus' Antiquities 2-4, Philo's Mosis 1-2, 1 Clement, and The Letter of the Churches of Vienne and Lyons ). He highlights their respective appropriation, adaptation, and redeployment of the Roman moral idiom on exemplary leadership in the promotion of self-consciously non-Roman ancestral exempla and languages of leadership.
Leadership; Exempla; Rome
History of Christianity
Petitfils, James (2015). Mos Christianorum : the Roman discourse of exemplarity and the Jewish and Christian language of leadership. Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck.