Professor Andrew Jacobs will deliver the sixth and final lecture in the 2013-2014 At-Large Lectures on Religion series. He is Professor of Religious Studies at Scripps College. His lecture, like all others in the Center for the Study of Religion-sponsored series, is free and open to all. There will be a brief question-and-answer session and a reception following the lecture.
In this talk, Jacobs considers the cultural function of saints' lives by comparing two texts about a fourth-century bishop named Epiphanius. The first, written in Greek in the fifth century, portrays Epiphanius as a wonder-working monk. The second, written in English in the Victorian era, portrays Epiphanius as a soulful, Catholic renunciant and scholar. Both lives also contend that Epiphanius was born Jewish and tangled with the forces of the Roman Empire. How does the life of a saint, in these two imperial contexts, mediate questions about power, politics, and the problem of religious difference?