Alberto D’Anna, Carla Noce, Il tema della fondazione apostolica negli Atti di Pietro e Paolo e nella Dottrina di Addai [The Theme of the Apostolic Foundation in the Acts of Peter and Paul and in the Doctrine of Addai]
The bipartite contribution brings into dialogue phenomena that occur more or less at the same time in different parts of the Roman Empire, in particular the construction or reworking of legends of apostolic foundation, a phenomenon directly connected with the overwhelming emergence of the political-ecclesiastical use of this concept. The two analysed works are dated by scholars between the end of the 4th and the second half of the 5th century and narrate the myths of the apostolic foundation of the churches of Rome and Edessa: these are typical expressions of the “cultural memory” of the two communities, of two “founding stories” which, regardless of their historical reliability (which is, moreover, very poor), construct the reality of the identity of the two churches, outlining a memory in which Christians are self-represented ad intra and ad extra. The authors have analyzed the text of the works according to a reading perspective that can be summarised in two fundamental questions: How are the editors/authors working? How is the theme of the apostolic foundation used? The answer to these questions allows to understand, as far as possible, the ways and the aims of the processes of formation of cultural memory of the two churches, in which there seem to be significant similarities.
Keywords: Peter and Paul – Addai – Rome – Edessa – Apostolic Foundation – Apocrypha