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Paulinus NosterSelf and Symbols in the Letters of Paulinus of Nola$
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Catherine Conybeare

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780199240722

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199240728.001.0001

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Homo Interior: The Inner Self

Homo Interior: The Inner Self

(p.131) 6 Homo Interior: The Inner Self
Paulinus Noster

Catherine Conybeare (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The underlying notions of the self in these letters form the link between all the other chapters. We now investigate the vocabulary of selfhood, especially the development of the term persona. In fourth‐century ideas of the self, soul is superior to body, but, far from being dismissed, the bodily part of the self is taken very seriously – as is commensurate with an incarnational theology. We return to the role of the letter carriers: they, as well as friends, are described as ‘another self’. This leads to a climactic notion of the self as fully relational: a reading of Paulinus’ letter exchange with his former tutor Ausonius demonstrates how the ‘relational self’ is played out.

Keywords:   Ausonius, Body, community, Inner, letter carrier, Persona, relational, Self

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