Self, Self-Fashioning and Individuality in Late Antiquity
This collection of articles places the frequently discussed question of the introvert Self into a new interdisciplinary context: rather than tracing a linear development from social forms of life with an outward orientation to individual introspection, it argues for significant overlaps between interior and exterior dimensions, between the Self and society. A team of internationally renowned experts from different fields examines Pagan, Jewish and Christian voices on an equal basis and explores the complexity of their messages. Philosophical texts are analyzed next to letters, legal sources, Bible interpretation and material evidence. Not only is the experience of individuals examined, but also instructions from authoritative figures in a position to shape constructions of the Self. The book is divided into three parts; namely, "Constructing the Self", a field usually treated by philosophers, "Self-Fashioning", generally associated with literature, and "Self and Individual in Society", commonly the domain of historians. This volume shows the complexity of each category and their overlaps by engaging unexpected sources in each section and interrogating internal as well as external dimensions.