193 THE BACKGROUND OF ST. IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH BY L. W. BARNARD Ignatius of Antioch is one of the key figures of the Church of the early second century. Unlike the other Apostolic Fathers he lays bare his innermost thoughts and feelings. In the seven genuine Ignatian Epistles, written or dictated while on his last journey to Rome, there is revealed a person passionately devoted to his faith - one who strongly desires martyrdom - yet one who is concerned with the practical details of Church life and order and especially with the problem of heresy and schism. Ignatius cannot wholly be explained in terms of modern psychology although his language sometimes betrays an exuberance and wildness which could be interpreted as neurotic. However we must never forget that Ignatius was a condemned prisoner who was being transported across Asia Minor in the custody of Roman soldiers whom he calls "ten leopards" 1- "who become worse for kind treatment" (ad Rom. v. 1). Letters quickly dictated 2 in such circumstances are likely to deal with a few main topice and to lack a developed presentation of ideas. The fact that the Ignatian letters strongly resemble one another in
Vigiliae Christianae – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1963
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