The Gospel and the Church: the words of Jesus during the institutionalization process of the Church of Rome (1st-5th century)
Emanuela Prinzivalli (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Which words by Jesus are remembered and quoted in the churches of the first centuries? What are the criteria for selecting the memories about Jesus during the institutionalization process of Christian communities? The eschatological message of Jesus intends to re-establish relationships among human beings in the name of mutual forgiveness and even love for enemies. Which strategies are chosen to adapt this message to the needs of the churches, given that the churches, as institutions, by their very nature, intend to last for a tendentially unlimited time? Prinzivalli’s lecture aims to answer these questions by examining the specific case of the church of Rome.
This case is particularly interesting, due to the important role that Rome, since the first century, had taken on in the context of the various groups of Christian, and which, albeit amidst contrasts and eclipses, had maintained throughout the history of Christianity. The "official" texts of this church, from the so-called First Letter of Clement to the Corinthians to Boniface I (418-422 AD), will be examined in this lecture. However, a time jump should also be made to compare the decretals with Leonian homiletic corpus (the first from Rome) in order to see if the strategies for using the words of Jesus change according to the literary genre and the audience.