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City of Demons$
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Dayna S. Kalleres

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520276475

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520276475.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Ambrose and Nicene Demoniacs

Ambrose and Nicene Demoniacs

Charismatic Christianity Inside and Outside Milan

(p.199) 7 Ambrose and Nicene Demoniacs
City of Demons

Dayna S. Kalleres

University of California Press

I describe Ambrose’s discovery of Protasius and Gervasius in 387 CE to discuss diabolization in Milan. I also revisit several issues and themes, making the chapter a long coda to the book. Ambrose’s discovery of the buried martyrs provides a perfect example of a moment scholars have attempted to “rationalize”; their interpretations remove any hint of the “irrational,” removing from the bishop and all involved any taint of charismatic ritual, magical thinking, or superstitious practice. I argue one must root all diabolizing, charismatic, and enchanted aspects of the event within a diabolized theology. In 355 CE the Nicene Bishop Dionysius was exiled and the Bishop Auxentius arrived; a spiritual warfare discourse infused the development of sacramental practice and a Nicene/non-Nicene tug-of-war over ecclesiastical possessions. In other words, the events of 355 CE set an enchanted, animistic stage for 387 CE. Chapter 7 serves a few purposes. It expands my argument regarding the church, ecclesiastical leaders, ritual power, and diabolization from the Greek East into the Latin West, while highlighting the differences. I also discuss interpretive problems in historiography pertaining to the pre-Cartesian period. Finally, in my reading of the spontaneous outbursts of demonic possession and exorcism performed before Protasius and Gervasius, I propose a more expansive anthropological model, which ascribes ritual agency and thus socio-religious power to the possessed.

Keywords:   Ambrose, Milan, Protasius, Gervasius, Justina, Valens, Auxentius, Ambrosiana, demonic possession

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