Digital Archive of PSYCHOHISTORY Digital Archive of
PSYCHOHISTORY
Articles & Texts
[Books texts] [Journal Articles] [Charts] [Prenatal]
[
Trauma Model] [Cultic] [Web links] [Cartoons] [Other]

God the Father and Gregory the Great: The Discovery of a Late Roman Childhood

Carl A. Mounteer
The Journal of Psychohistory V. 26, N. 1, Summer 1998

It is difficult to overestimate the influence and popularity of Pope Gregory the Great (540-604), particularly in his articulation of a highly ambivalent relationship between God and man. The unique and vivid characterization of this relationship given by Gregory suggests that this was unconsciously derived from Gregory's own relationship with his father. However, little is known about Gregory's childhood. But from Gregory's own articulation of man's relationship with God, combined with what is known about Roman childrearing, it is possible to make some reasonable inferences about how Gregory was raised.

The traditional date for his birth is 540.1 His father was Gordianus and his mother Silvia. He had a brother, Palatinus.2 The family was wealthy, probably of patrician origins, and had at least one papal ancestor, Pope Felix IV. The family lived in Rome in a large mansion on the Clivus Scauri between the Flavian Amphitheater and the Baths of Caracalla. They had extensive estates in Sicily.

Gregory's birth occurred in the midst of the Gothic Wars (536-552). This conflict completely devastated Italy, resulting in massive social dislocations, terrible famine, plague, and the complete elimination of what was left of Roman civilization.3 The conditions in Rome during this period were so appalling that most aristocratic families like Gregory's fled to safer havens. Hence, it is likely that Gregory was born and raised on the family estates in Sicily rather than in Rome.

John the Deacon, an eighth century biographer of Gregory, makes one reference to his subject's childhood:

When he was young he matured in study; and in case he would hear anything which was unknown to him, this most skilled inquirer kept company with older religious men. And taking up the seeds of doctrine, he turned them over in his tenacious memory. Afterwards, this is what comprised what he declaimed to the people in such a sweet voice.4

It is also known that Gregory was raised by a nurse in his earliest years. He mentions her being alive when he was pope.5 From his letters we may infer that he received an education typical of a sixth century Roman aristocrat. Beyond this, we know nothing more of his childhood.

What we know more about, however, is what Roman childrearing was like during the sixth century. Up until the age of seven, raising the child was the responsibility of the mother. Frequently, these tasks were also delegated to a nurse.6 This practice was so prevalent in the sixth century that Gregory deplored the fact that mothers turned their children over to nurses and refused to nurse them themselves.7 From age 7 onwards, fathers took over the raising of male children.8

There was, however, a dark side to Roman childrearing. The beating of children was one of the most characteristic features of Roman education. This was not just the occasional slap or swat on the buttocks. Canes, whips, dried eel's skin, or bundles of dried reeds were used with such ferocity on children's hands that they became so swollen the children had trouble holding their books.9 Augustine feared these beatings so much that his first prayers were not to be beaten.10

Parents, moreover, seemed to consider this brutality as normal. Augustine's parents laughed at his beatings and even encouraged them.11 This parental insouciance towards the physical abuse inflicted on their children persisted into the sixth century. The Gothic king Theodoric proscribed Roman education for Gothic boys because he was convinced that the brutality employed would break their spirit and make them too cowardly for warfare.12

A brooding and ominous figure in Roman childhood was that of the Roman father. From antiquity, the Romans regarded themselves as unique among civilizations because of the degree of power they bestowed on the Roman father.13 He was the only family member with full legal rights. All of his descendants were subject to his absolute authority including the power of life or death. This gave him the right to kill, with impunity, an infant subject to his authority. The child's mother had no control over this decision.14 Drowning and strangulation were the chief methods used. This was routine with deformed children and was the fate of female children far more than that of males. The actual killing was probably delegated to slaves.15

For those too squeamish to commit infanticide, a more attenuated alternative existed: exposure and abandonment. If rescued, the child's enslavement was almost guaranteed. Females who suffered this fate often were turned into prostitutes or sex slaves. But when unrescued, the abandoned infant often became a meal for dogs or birds of prey.16

Beginning with Diocletian (245-313) this patriarchal tyranny began to abate. Christian influences did much to end these practices.17 By 374 infanticide and exposure of children became a capital offense.18 But the dire prerogatives of the Roman father persisted well into the sixth century when children continued to be abandoned,19 sold as slaves,20 or exploited for a lucrative deformity.21 Certainly it was enough of a problem for Justinian to reiterate the death penalty for the exposure of children. He also found it necessary to prevent the enslavement of any child rescued from abandonment and exposure.22 The condemnation of these practices by the Councils of Lerida (546), Toledo (589), and Trulla (629)23 indicates the persistence of this appalling abuse imposed upon children. Undoubtedly, the desperate and terrible conditions inflicted on Italy during the Gothic Wars only exacerbated the tendency to abandon, expose, or kill infants to ease the struggle for survival.

Although we know almost nothing of Gregory's childhood, the attitudes he developed and articulated are so distinctive that they imply a childhood that was dominated by a harsh, punishing, unpredictable father-figure that is consistent with similar traits in Roman fathers generally.

In 573 Gregory, in his early thirties, was the Prefect of Rome. This made him the main official responsible for the civil affairs of the city. This was obviously a position of much power and prestige. But he resigned this post to enter a monastery and humble himself by becoming a common Benedictine monk. Since his father was dead,24 he was able to turn the family home in Rome into a monastery dedicated to St. Andrew. The family Sicilian estates were similarly converted to monastic property.

Gregory then embarked upon a program of such extreme fasting that he ruined his digestion and thus permanently impaired his health.25 Yet even when he became pope, Gregory longed for the austerities of the cloister and remembered his days there as being the happiest of his life.26 This type of asceticism is characterized by feelings of guilt and unworthiness typical of the depressive personality. Such an unnatural curbing of instinctual impulses like hunger and sex tends to desiccate the personality and impair its ability for social adaptation. It cripples the qualities of good humor, generosity, empathy, and energy. Ascetics are typically rigid personalities. This may explain why ascetics treat their loved ones or those who depend upon them with such harshness.27

Indeed, there is some evidence that shows that Gregory fits this psychological profile from a story Gregory tells about himself. In 586, he became abbot, St. Andrew's, the monastery he founded. Because Gregory had destroyed his digestive system, he was frequently ill. Justus, a monk with some medical skill, attended him during these illnesses. Then Justus became mortally ill. Fearing that death was near, he confessed to hoarding three gold pieces. When Gregory heard of this he was appalled at such a blatant violation of the monk's vow of poverty. He ordered that Justus was to die alone, without the comfort of the other monks in his final hours. Because of this treatment, Gregory assures us that the abandoned Justus died in great anguish. Then Gregory ordered that, instead of burial, Justus' body was to be flung on a dungheap and the three gold pieces thrown on the corpse with the curse, "Thy memory perish with thee!" Only then was the body to be covered. Thirty days later Gregory relented and ordered a daily Mass for the soul of Justus.28

The truth of this story is enhanced by the fact that this portrayal of Gregory's unsparing emotional brutality comes from Gregory himself. Even making allowances for the severity of sixth century monastic culture, the tale hardly puts him in a flattering light given the moderation and humanity required by the Rule of St. Benedict. Furthermore, it is consistent with Gregory's own self-inflicted harshness.

Gregory's attitudes towards sex in marriage were similarly harsh. Although sexual intercourse itself was not sinful, the pleasure that accompanies it stains the participant with sin. Therefore, one should not even enter a church after sexual intercourse.29 In Gregory's Dialogues he describes a woman who does and becomes possessed by demons who attack the priest who attempts to help her.30 Taking pleasure in sexual dreams also demands penance.31 And children are born corrupted because of the pleasure experienced by their parents in conceiving them.32

One of the most predominant features of Gregory's outlook was that the wrath of the divine father could be propitiated by sufficient self-inflicted suffering. He constantly reiterated a theme that man must suffer in this life to avoid much greater, and eternal, punishment in the hereafter.33

But that every elect soul may escape eternal woe, and the more mount up to everlasting glory, he must be bruised here below with continual stripes, that he may be found purified on Judgment Day. For we are ever borne downwards by the mere weight of our infirmity, but that by the wonderful interposition of our Maker we are relieved by succoring stripes.34

Since man is purged through suffering,35 Gregory recommends self-punishment so that in the "hereafter you will behold the advent of the Eternal Judge more fearlessly in proportion as you now with fear anticipate his severity."36 Often this punishment should take the form of a constant, unremitting anxiety and sorrow for one's sins which will result in pardon for these sins.37 He recommends that man be constantly afraid of being in a state of sin and purge this with "daily tears...For it is written ‘Happy is the man that is always afraid. (Prov. 28:14)…Serve the Lord in fear and rejoice unto him with trembling. (Psal. 2:11).'" He exhorted that "trembling possess your soul" to guarantee eternal joy.38

Also, Gregory's writings are filled with the notion of the unpredictability of God's punishment.39 Even though one's conscience must be probed for sin "as teeth tearing the flesh,"40 one can never know if one has punished oneself enough because one can never know the extent of one's sins.41 Gregory frequently expressed his fear that, because of God's unknown and unpredictable severity, man could never know if he inflicted enough suffering upon himself to propitiate God.42 Therefore one can never perform too much penance because excess penance counts as merit. But if one does not engage in enough self-punishment, one's soul could be damned.43 Thus he praises as ideal penitents those who are "guilty of no sin, and yet they afflict themselves fiercely as though every sin oppressed them."44

For those who did not succeed in imposing enough self-punishment in this life Gregory prepared the definitive medieval version of Hell as a bottomless chasm of fire for the eternal physical and psychological torment of the wicked.45 The scholastic theologians of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries would adopt Gregory's description in its unabridged entirety. From these thinkers, particularly Thomas Aquinas, this portrayal of the damned found its way into Dante's Divine Comedy.

Gregory's convictions that God is a harsh, punishing, and unpredictable father is also evidenced by the choice of subject matter for his greatest work, his Magna Moralia. This is a biblical commentary on the Book of Job. The story of Job has become the classic expression of the unanswerable question of how one can believe in a just God when good people endure such terrible suffering. Job, singled out as being God's most faithful servant, is inflicted with the worst adversities. When Job demands of God why he has punished him so, God turns on him angrily and batters him with a series of rhetorical questions designed to illustrate the incomprehensibility of his will. This figure of a harsh, punishing God who unpredictably and inexplicably inflicts punishment on good people is entirely consistent with Gregory's view of man's relationship with God.

The psychoanalytic origins of these attitudes may be traced to childhood. The child first encounters his parents as the powers that must be propitiated to avoid punishment. A child thus has many resentments against his parents both for their punishment of him and their interference with his wishes. These hostile feelings are concealed, however, with a great effort because the child fears the punishment of his parents should they be discovered or externalized. He feels guilty about these feelings. He may even indulge in the acts proscribed by his parents and this generates even more intense feelings of guilt.46 If the child has been physically or emotionally abused, as was common in Roman childhoods, the child may feel responsible for this trauma, thus creating more guilt.47 To mollify his conscience for these forbidden acts or feelings, and to avert more severe punishment from his parents, the child may punish or deny himself in some way. Once learned, this way of dealing with guilt may persist into adulthood with resulting ascetic practices like Gregory's or self-destructive behavior.48 Significantly, this dynamic of parental prohibition resulting in the child's resentment, guilt, and self-punishment is entirely consistent with the severity that characterized Roman fathers and the prevalence of asceticism and martyrdom during the late Roman Empire. This was later manifested in the ascetic practices of monasticism.49

Lloyd deMause discusses this dynamic at length in his recent article, "The Psychogenic Theory of History."50 Initially childhood trauma produces an internal "protector" in the child to stop him from acting out the forbidden behavior. But then, usually in adolescence, the protector becomes a persecutor. "Rather than take a chance that the early trauma will once again catch one unaware and helpless, one might restage the trauma upon oneself or others, or both, at least controlling the timing and intensity of the trauma oneself."51 Restaging this trauma is actually a "self protective device, protective against being helpless against the overwhelming anxiety of unexpected trauma."52 In other words, the traumatized reinflict the trauma on themselves because they imagine that in doing so they will control it, i.e., their self-punishment will avert the far more catastrophic, impending, externally inflicted trauma. This keeps it from becoming more than they can bear, and to discharge the terror and anxiety that it is imminent and will be overwhelming. Thus, "trauma demands repetition."53 With the onset of adulthood, the persecutory self evolves into what deMause describes as the "social alter." The function of the latter is to help prevent the traumas from overwhelming one's life and to defend against reexperiencing the psychic and physical injuries of childhood.54

The inference that these attitudes arose in Gregory because he experienced a harsh and punishing father in his childhood is compelled, not only by Menninger's and deMause's psychological models, but by the explicit parent-child character he endows upon man's relationship with God. The vivid specificity with which Gregory describes this suggests that this characterization is more than conformity with the parent-child metaphors so common in medieval theological literature. Rather, the expressions of man's relationship with God suggest that these are unconscious evocations of his own dreadful childhood experiences.

For example, Gregory portrays God as unmistakably and starkly ambivalent in his relationship with man. Carole Straw notes that "Gregory struggles to accept God's dispensation as the work of a loving Father rather than that of a vengeful judge."55 Gregory states that like the punishing father who whips his child because he loves him, so God punishes those he loves for their own benefit. God is portrayed both as an "Avenger" who stabs man repeatedly with a lance for his sins and then, after conversion, as a loving father.56 Gregory describes the inflictions that God imposes upon man as "merciful torment," a "mercy" which punishes yet "lavishes love."57 He is described as "now terrifying us with harsh threats, now refreshing us with sweet consolations. he mixes terror with comfort and comfort with terror."58 God mixes "scourges and gifts."59 Gregory compares God's treatment of man with that of a mother who "beats her child one moment as if she never loved him" and the next moment "loves him as if she had never beaten him."60 To a friend who recovered from a severe illness Gregory wrote:

I soon returned great things to Almighty God for that he smote that He might heal, afflicted that He might lead to true joys. For hence it is written "Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (Heb. 12.6)...every branch that beareth fruit, he will purge it that it may bring forth more fruit." (John, 15:1-2)...Rejoice, therefore, good man, for that in this thy scourge, and this thy advancement, thou seest that thou art loved by the Eternal Judge.61

Therefore, man should thank God for his punishment. In fact, God "rejoices in man's chastisement."62 God uses the devil to "hammer" man.63 God is also described as "scourging" or beating man.64 He wounds man in order to heal him.65 Thus, God is to be feared because the devil is God's agent in inflicting a salutary punishment on man.66 Also, whatever punishment is meted out by God, it is far less than human beings deserve.67

The theme of an ambivalent, harsh and punishing father is also evidenced by Gregory's choice of the Book of Ezechiel for a series of sermons.68 The Book of Ezechiel describes God's scourging of his chosen race by the repeated invasion and destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 597 and 586 B.C.. The subject matter was appropriate for the circumstances under which Gregory gave the sermons, for at that time the Lombard king Agilulph was ravaging the countryside around Rome, leading Roman citizens off into slavery with halters around their necks and mutilating others by amputating their hands.69 Gregory describes Rome's social condition as like a cauldron set upon a fire, boiling with broken bones and hissing flesh until it melts and is consumed in an apocalyptic fire. Thus Rome is destroyed and fulfills the prophecy pronounced upon the city of Sumeria by the prophet Ezechiel.70 Gregory evokes this image of a harsh and punishing divine father:

What, then, remains but that while we suffer the penalty of our sins, we render thanks, mingled with tears, to God? For He who created us has been made also our Father, through the Spirit of adoption which he gave. And sometimes He nourishes his children with bread, sometimes He corrects them with strokes, educating them by sorrows and by gifts for their eternal inheritance.71

Although this representation of God as a highly ambivalent, unpredictable, punishing father, existed in earlier Christian and Jewish writers, God never received such a vivid and malignant character as he did in Gregory. Karl Menninger has noted that such psychological representations of authority, as manifested by one's conscience, are derived primarily from parental sources. They are then merged later in life with prevalent ethical, social, and religious principles.72

Thus, it is not unreasonable to infer that Gregory's portrayal of God as punishing, ambivalent, and unpredictable is derived from his own parental sources. They are an unconscious rendition of his own childrearing experiences. The validity of this inference is supported by the consistency between Gregory's portrayal of parental behavior and our general knowledge of Roman childhood. They are also supported by deMause's theory that childhood trauma is the origin of these attitudes.

These beliefs were certainly reinforced by the terrible social conditions of Gregory's entire life. After the Gothic Wars, Italy was plagued by the Lombard invasion in 568. The Lombards were a continual bane to the inhabitants of Italy and Gregory complains bitterly about them during his pontificate. These events and experiences created in him the most predominant feature of his personality: a profound and unmitigated pessimism that led him to described life as a "punishment and misery."73 Hence, Gregory's attitudes were formed by harsh parental figures and then hardened by the terrible social conditions in which he lived.

What is especially significant about this is that Gregory's forbidding concept of God was immediately adopted by medieval theologians and was almost the exclusive representation of God until the sixteenth century.74 This influence was exerted particularly through the popularity of the Magna Moralia.75 Why Gregory's portrayal of God was so appealing to the Middle Ages can perhaps be explained by the probability that most medieval people experienced the same severity in their childhoods that Gregory did in his own. These terrible childhoods laid the psychological groundwork for making Gregory's sentiments so popular in the Middle Ages. What made Gregory's frightening and punitively unpredictable God so acceptable was that it incorporated and articulated all of medieval man's anxieties about his relationship to God and the world. Like Gregory, they experienced terrible social conditions such as plague, famine, and invasion. These must have generated tremendous fear and the belief that their suffering was God's punishment for their sinfulness. Like Gregory, they probably suffered childhood trauma of a similar character and magnitude. Therefore, like Gregory, their childhood beliefs may have persisted into adulthood so that they felt that they could ward off divine wrath by self-punishment.

Everything we know about medieval social conditions is consistent with this. In such circumstances, Gregory's attitudes and beliefs would be very compelling particularly since he expressed them so vividly and with such conviction. This is a typical characteristic of the self-persecutory social alter discussed above: "they are shared and restaged in historical group-fantasies that are elaborated into political, religious, and social institutions."76

It is recognized that those with the most refined empirical sensitivities may be offended by this triangulation between the writings of Gregory and what is known of Roman childhood to infer the general outlines of Gregory's childhood. But the inferences in this article are also supported by a psychological principle that is not subject to reasonable dispute: one's perception and attitude towards self-punishment and authority are derived from parental agencies. Even the rigor of the law permits, by necessity, inferences from circumstantial evidence where there is no direct evidence. This is a recognition of the fact that the truth may be known by means other than direct perception. This methodology is particularly important in psychobiographical inquiries when information about the childhood of a subject may only be inferred from such indirect sources as illustrated above.

Carl Mounteer, Ph.D., 1005 Hillside Ave., Pacific Grove, CA 93950, is a Contributing Editor of this Journal and has written on aspects of Roman history in earlier issues.

References below

Digital Archive of PSYCHOHISTORY Digital Archive of
PSYCHOHISTORY
Articles & Texts
[Books texts] [Journal Articles] [Charts] [Prenatal]
[
Trauma Model] [Cultic] [Web links] [Cartoons] [Other]

References

1. The correct dating of Gregory's birth is a matter of some controversy. The evidence is examined at length in W. Stuhlfath, Gregor der Grosse (Heidelberg, 1913) app. 1. See also F. Holmes Dudden, Gregory the Great (2 vols.; London, 1905), vol. I.

2. Epp. 1.42; 9.200.

3. Some scholars contend that the administrative apparatus of the Roman Empire survived this catastrophe and even persisted well into the eighth century. See Edward Berman, Emperor to Emperor (London: Constable, 1991) p. 40. Procopius' narration of the extortion of money from the conquered Italians by the Byzantine bureaucrats supports this view. See Procopius Bell. Goth. 7.1.28-32. Some scholars contend that there is no way of estimating the decline of the Italian population as a result of the Gothic Wars. (See T.S. Brown, Gentlemen and Officers: Imperial Administration and Aristocratic Power in Byzantine Italy (Rome, 1984), p. 63; But Michel Rouche audaciously takes up the challenge and estimates that the decline in the Roman population from the fourth century to Gregory's era was from 700,000 to 200,000; he estimates that the decline in the population of the entire Italian peninsula to be from 5 million to 3.5 million; see Rouche, "Gregoire le Grand face ˆ la situation Žconomique de son temps," in Fontaine, et al., eds., GrŽgoire le Grand, pp. 42ff. cited in Carole Straw, Gregory the Great: Perfection in Imperfection (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1991), pp. 2-3, n. 6.

4. Vita 1.3

5. Epis. 4.14.

6. Carl A. Mounteer, "Roman Childhood, 200 B.C. to A.D. 600," Journal of Psychohistory 14(3) (Winter, 1987), pp. 233-235.

7. Epis. 11.569; MGH, Ep. 2.339.

8. Mounteer, "Roman Childhood," 235-238.

9. Ovid, Amat. 1.13.17-18; Augustine, Solil., 2.20; Fulgentius, Myth., 1.

10. Conf. 1.9.

11. Ibid., 1.9; 1.10

12. Procopius, Hist. Goth. 6.15.20-23.

13. Gaius, Inst., 1.9.

14. Emil Eyben, "Family Planning in Antiquity," trans. by P. Van Dessel, Ancient Society, 11/12 (1980/1981) pp. 16; 22, n. 65.

15. Ibid., pp. 14-17.

16. Ibid., pp. 17-19; This subject has been given much attention by scholars. See, e.g., G. Glatz and G. Humbert, "Expositio," Dictionnaire des antiquit's greques et romains d'apres les textes et des monuments, ed. by Ch. Daremberg and E. Soglio; E. Sachers, "Patria Potestas," Paulys Realencyclopedie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, 23:1, cols. 1084-1096; H. Bennet, "The Exposure of Infants in Ancient Rome," Classical Journal 18 (1922-1923) 341-351; M. Radin, "The Exposure of Infants in Roman Law and Practice," Classical Journal 20 (1924-1925), pp. 337-343; L. W. Langer, "Infanticide: A Historical View," History of Childhood Quarterly 1 (1973-1974), pp. 353-365.

17. Mounteer, "Roman Childhood," p. 244.

18. Cod. Theod. 9.14.1; Cod. Iust. 8.51.2.

19. Council of Agde, c. 24; Leges Visigoth., 4.4 (MGH, Leg. sect. 1.1); Form. Tur., (MGH, Leg. sect. 5); Henri Leclerq, "Alumni" Dictionnaire d'archologie chretienne et de liturgie, (Paris, 1907-1958) 1-2:1303-1305.

20. Jordanes, Getica, 26.134; Gregory of Tours, Hist. Franc. 6.45; Bede, Hist. Eccl. 2.1.

21. Gregory of Tours, Mir. Mart., 1.40; 2.24.

22. Novel. 153.

23. Eyben, "Family Planning," p. 73; Mounteer, "Roman Childhood," p. 244.

24. John the Deacon, Vita 1.5; 9.

25. Gregory of Tours, Hist. Franc., 10.1; Paul the Deacon, Vita, 5; John the Deacon, Vita, 1.7; Gregory the Great, Dial. 3.33; 4.55.

26. Gregory, Epis. 1.5; 10.121; Dial., "Preface."

27. Karl Menninger, Man Against Himself, (New York, Harcourt, Brace, and World, Inc., 1938) pp. 105-109.

28. Gregory the Great, Dial. 4.55; cf. John the Deacon, 1.15.

29. Epis., 11.56a.8 cited in Straw, p. 135, n. 45.

30. Dial. 1.10.2-3 cited in Straw, p. 135, n. 46.

31. Epis., 11.56a.8 cited in Straw, p. 135, n. 44.

32. Hom. in Evang. 2.39.8 cited in Straw, p. 123, n. 102.

33. God is appeased by the suffering of the sinner. Epis., 10.12; see also, Mor. 24.24.51; 8.20.30; 2.14.23; In lib I Reg., 3.92; 2.150; Hom. in Ezech. 2.8.19 from Straw, pp. 221-222, nn. 65; 67-69.

34. Mor., 6.22.16.

35. Mor. 24.11.33-34 cited by Straw, p. 143, n. 89.

36. Hom. in Evang., 39.8; cf. ibid., 1.15.4.

37. Epis. 7.26; Hom. in Evang., 39.8. Ms Straw, on page 48, footnote 4, maintains that Gregory never recommended that one inflict self-punishment with whips "or other instruments of self-discipline" and that he condemned the use of excessive force on the clergy (see Epis. 3.52 and 12.8) and on parishioners (see Epis. 3.45) This is, however, inconsistent with Gregory's own self-destructive fasting described above.

38. Epis., 7.25.

39. See excerpt in Dudden, I:256-257.

40. Mor. 11.33.45, cited in Straw, p. 216, n. 26. Cf. Job 13:14.

41. As to God's harshness and unpredictablility, see the examples given in Straw, p. 139 and p. 122, citing Mor. 24.11.32 at note 93. See also Straw, p. 178.

42. Mor. 35.20.49 cited by Straw, p. 233, n. 157.

43. Mor. 26.10.15 cited by Straw, p. 233, n. 156.

44. Hom in Ev. 2.34.5 from Straw, p. 232, n. 155.

45. In his Moralia on the Book of Job.

46. Menninger, p. 107.

47. Lloyd deMause, "The Psychogenic Theory of History," The Journal of Psychohistory, 25(2) (Fall, 1997), p. 130.

48. Menninger, p. 107; Carl A. Mounteer, "Guilt, Martyrdom, and Monasticism," The Journal of Psychohistory 9(2) (Fall, 1981), pp. 156-157.

49. Mounteer, "Guilt, Martyrdom, and Monasticism," pp. 145-171.

50. deMause, pp. 112-183.

51. Ibid., p. 130 citing Lisa Goodman and Jay Peters, "Persecutory Alters and Ego States: Protectors, Friends, and Allies." Dissociation 8(1995): 92.

52. deMause, p. 131, citing Bessel A. Van der Kolk, "The Compulsion to Repeat the Trauma: Re-enactment, Revictimization, and Maschochism." Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 12(1989): 389-411; A. W. Burgess, et al., "Abused to Abuser: Antecedents to Socially Deviant Behavior." American Journal of Psychiatry 144(1984): 378-379.

53. deMause, p. 112, quoting Selma Fraiberg.

54. deMause, pp. 141-142.

55. Straw, p. 185. She continues "He could understand, if not sympathize with, the resentful cry of Job's wife, 'Curse God and die!' In rebuking such blasphemy and condemning those who take up arms against God, Gregory strives as well to eradicate any trace of resistance from his own soul, perhaps without being aware how such conflict could be embedded in his own tense and ambivalent mind." (Ibid., pp.185-186)

56. Straw, p. 219 citing Mor. 20.32.64.

57. Hom in Ezech., 2.9.19; for more examples of how God tortures those he loves see Mor. 9.53.8; 6.25.42; Hom. in Ev., 2.30.5; Epis. 7.23.

58. Mor. 33.7.14 cited in Straw, p. 144, n. 94.

59. Hom. in Ezech. 2.4.3 cited in Straw, p. 186, n. 36.

60. Hom. in Ezech. 1.1.18 cited in Straw, p. 186, n. 38; This metaphor of of the nurturant and scourging parent also emerges in Gregory's sermons on the Book of Ezechiel. See below, footnote 71.

61. Epis., 9.33.

62. Mor. 9.27.43 cited in Straw, p. 222, n. 70.

63. Mor. 34.12.23 cited by Straw, p. 63, n. 103.

64. Hom. in Ezech. 2.10.14 cited by Straw, p. 64, n. 114. See also, Mor. 33.19.35; 3.9.15 cited by Straw, p. 143, nn. 87; 88; Hom. in Ezech. 2.10.24 cited by Straw, p. 184, n. 31; Mor. 27.17.33 cited by Straw, p. 208, n. 83; Mor. 24.18.44 cited by Straw, p. 215, n. 16; Hom in Ezech. 2.36.9; Mor. 30.15.30 cited by Straw, p. 221, n. 60; Mor. 9.53.81 cited by Straw, p. 225, n. 100; Mor. 3.9.16 cited by Straw, p. 247, n. 73; Mor. 22.18.44 cited by Straw, p. 176, n. 84 Mor. 29.9.20 cited by Straw, p. 194, n. 1; Mor. 6.25.42 cited by Straw, p. 209, n. 86.

65. Mor. 26.47.87 cited by Straw, p. 143, n. 93. See also Mor. 6.25.42 cited by Straw, p. 209, n. 86.

66. Mor. 2.10.17 cited by Straw, p. 64, n. 115.

67. Epis., 10.63; Mor. 24.10.24.

68. Collected in Homiliarum in Ezechielem Prophetam Libri II.

69. Hom. in Ezech. 2.10.24; Dudden, 2:19-21.

70. Hom. in Ezech. 2.6.22 cited in Straw, p. 185, nn. 34-35.

71. Hom. in Ezech. 2.10.24; Dudden, 2:21; cf. Mor. 16.29.36.

72. Menninger, p. 46.

73. Moralia 11.49.66

74. The one exception being, possibly, Francis of Assisi.

75. On this popularity see Dudden, I:195-196 who describes it as "a favorite text-book of Christian doctrine." and "for the next five or six hundred years...was regarded as indispensable for every well-furnished theological library."

76. deMause, p. 142.

Digital Archive of PSYCHOHISTORY Digital Archive of
PSYCHOHISTORY
Articles & Texts
[Books texts] [Journal Articles] [Charts] [Prenatal]
[
Trauma Model] [Cultic] [Web links] [Cartoons] [Other]

To report errors in this electronic
transcription please contact:
[email protected]

Hosted by www.Geocities.ws

1