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The Hungry are DyingBeggars and Bishops in Roman Cappadocia$
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Susan R. Holman

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195139129

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195139127.001.0001

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Penury and Divine Gift

Penury and Divine Gift

The Poor as Fiscal Body

(p.99) 3 Penury and Divine Gift
The Hungry are Dying

Susan R. Holman

Oxford University Press

The Cappadocian texts on poverty include an economic construct of the poor as fiscal body, defining themselves according to their penury and being defined as currency and inflationary debt. This chapter considers Basil of Caesarea's homilies 6 and 7, appealing to those with wealth, Gregory of Nazianzus's poem “Adversus opem amantes,” Basil's two sermons on Psalm 14 concerning justice, usury, and debt, Gregory of Nyssa's sermon “Against Usury,” Ambrose of Milan's dependence on Basil in his sermon on Tobit, and the exegetical use of texts on the biblical patriarch Joseph's grain policy in Egypt. These texts illustrate Basil's dominant concern for civic justice and social economic reform to solve the problem of poverty in the community.

Keywords:   Ambrose of Milan, Basil of Caesarea, debt, Economics, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, Joseph, justice, usury, wealth

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