East meets West, West meets East?
Book Title – Greek Monasticism in Southern Italy: The Life of Neilos in Context (edited by Barbara Crostini and Ines Angeli Murzaku)
Chapter Number & Title – Chapter 13 : East Meets West, West Meets East? Constructing Difference in First Life of St Adalbert and in the Life of St Neilos (by David Kalhous)
In this chapter, the reader can follow the life path of two men who met in Southern Italy and became saints: St Neilos, monk, hermit and native in that area, and St Adalbert-Vojtěch, born to a Bohemian elite family, bishop of Prague and martyr, whose life found an intense echo through the whole of Europe. First, it is demonstrated that whereas Adalbert accepted the ideals set by the Carolingian clergy during the ninth century, thus focusing on pastoral practice and the salvation of his flock, Neilos preferred the life within the community of his peers and understood salvation more as an individual than as a political problem. Second, the role played by the Latin and Roman church in the life of St Neilos is analyzed. This background serves as evidence for the construction of the Greek/Byzantine and Latin worlds in the sources connected with these two saints.