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Valyermo Abbey

Quodvultdeus of Carthage: The Creedal Homilies Ancient Christian Write

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This volume in the Ancient Christian Writers series offers a first-time translation and commentary of the Latin Creedal Homilies of Quodvultdeus, a younger contemporary, friend, and correspondent of St. Augustine. Quodvultdeus delivered these homilies on the Sunday before Easter for three successive years in the mid-430's. Their directly intended audience was candidates selected for Easter baptism--the special class of catechumens called the electi who were engaged in the long process of conversion--and the faithful. Deeply influenced by the theology and rhetoric of Augustine, the homilies provide an invaluable window on the fifth-century church in Carthage and Roman north Africa, including her views on Judaism and paganism as well as on her internal dynamics, debates, and strife. The homilies focus on the nature, meaning, and effect of the liturgy of baptism in the process of conversion to a living Christianity. From the homilies, the reader learns who the candidates were, why they sought a new religious life, what they expected from Christianity, what was expected of them, and how the baptismal liturgy transformed and initiated them into the church's life. The homilies confirm and advance what can be learned from St. Augustine and his predecessors--not to mention his other North African contemporaries and successors--about conversion as well as the extensive and complex liturgy of baptism.