„Bestiary of disbelief”. Non-believer people in Hilary’s of Poitiers teaching

Helena Karczewska

Uniwersytet Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego w Warszawie , Poland


Bishop of Poitiers, referring to the allegorical interpretation of Scripture, makes the characteristics of people away from God through unbelief. Comparing them to beasts, Hilary creates an unique „bestiary of disbelief”. Bishop of Poitiers shows the catalogue of beasts and gives them a symbolic significance which re­veals the nature of opponents of the Church. In the allegorical world of beasts many animals can be found: foxes mean false prophets, ravens – sinners and cattle as a symbol of heathen. In general Bishop of Poitiers indicates symbol of serpent as heretics who reject the gift of faith in Christ and contempt the doctrine of the Church. In Hilary’s works a lot of helpful directions for believers are given. Bishop focuses on gaining spiritual knowledge and proclamation of the Gospel.


Hilary of Poitiers, Expositions of the Psalms, belief, allegorical exegesis, unbelief, sinners, heretics

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Karczewska, H. (2013). „Bestiary of disbelief”. Non-believer people in Hilary’s of Poitiers teaching. Vox Patrum, 59, 225–239. https://doi.org/10.31743/vp.4025

Helena Karczewska 
Uniwersytet Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego w Warszawie


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