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  • How to Return from Flight

    Jennifer Barry

    Chapter from the book: Barry, J. 2019. Bishops in Flight: Exile and Displacement in Late Antiquity.


    In this chapter, I explore how Gregory’s biographical depictions of both Basil of Caesarea and Athanasius of Alexandria as fleeing men were paramount to his theological offensive in and around Constantinople. We will begin by examining how Basil’s familial link to other fleeing men and women and then his own flight to Pontus helped secure his victory over heresy. Then we will turn to how Gregory promoted Athanasius’s exile into the desert. As Gregory narrated it, orthodoxy is intimately tied to ascetic withdrawal. Ultimately, both Basil and Athanasius must return to their respective cities, for it is their return that confirms their authority. And — as he concludes in defense of his own flight — the return is what pardons the flight.

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    Barry, J. 2019. How to Return from Flight. In: Barry, J, Bishops in Flight. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.69.c

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    Published on April 23, 2019