Thursday, February 27, 2020


A Restaurant in a Former Church

Many restaurants today are housed in former churches. For an ancient example, see Donatist Martyr Stories: The Church in Conflict in Roman North Africa. Translated with notes and introduction by Mureen A. Tilley (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1996), p. 55 (Anonymous, A Sermon on the Passion of Saints Donatus and Advocatus §4, aka Passio Sancti Donati):
How swiftly and completely did the situation change! The basilica, shameful to say, was turned into a fast-food restaurant. What grief to see such a crime in the house of the Lord, this place accustomed to pious prayers, now profaned by impure deeds and illegitimate incantations!
The Latin, from François Dolbeau, "La Passio Sancti Donati (BHL 2303 b): une tentative d'édition critique," in Memoriam sanctorum venerantes: Miscellanea in onore di Monsignor Victor Saxer (Città del Vaticano: Pontificio Istituto di archeologia cristiana, 1992 = Studi di Antichità Cristiana, 48), pp. 251–267 (at 259):
Quanta repente rerum mutatio! Basilica in popinam, ne turpius dicam, conuersa est. Qui dolor uidere in domo Dei quantum piaculum, locum illum castis precibus et uotis assuetum incestis operibus et spurcis uocibus profanari!
Tilley seems to translate spuriis from Patrologia Latina, vol. 8, col. 754, rather than spurcis.

On the sermon as a whole see Brent D. Shaw, Sacred Violence: African Christians and Sectarian Hatred in the Age of Augustine (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 187-193 (on this passage pp. 189-190).

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