Volume 61, Issue 1, June 2021
Lives, Lives, and Afterlives
The Exemplary Pedagogy of Caesarius of Arles
Caesarius of Arles in his role as bishop struggled to guide his growing Christian community amid the political and religious fragmentation of early sixth-century Gaul. This article examines the ways in which he shaped his pastoral pedagogy to address the ecclesiological challenges of the post-Roman world. In his own life, in retelling the lives of saints, and in publishing his sermons, Caesarius variously reconceptualized “example” in order to teach ordinary Christians how to live out their faith in a universal church – a stable, if idealized, community that brought comfort in uncertain times. His innovative pedagogy also reshaped the complex administration of the expanding Gallic church. Caesarius thus created a pedagogy of example to fit the needs of his post-Roman community.