"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Patristic Reading

Though, frustratingly, I have never been able to find it again after I thought I first read it in his writings, the late Pope John Paul II seems to have remarked at one point that "every age of authentic renewal in the Church has come about through a renewed study of the Fathers." It is precisely such questions as these--memory, hermeneutics, and context--that are among others explored in a new collection: Morwenna Ludlow and Scot Douglass, eds., Reading the Church Fathers (T&T Clark, 2011), 224pp.

About this book the publisher tells us:
Reading the corpus of texts written by the Fathers of the Church has always been a core area in Christian theology. However, scholars and academics are by no means united in the question how these important but difficult authors should be read and interpreted. Many of them are divided by implicit (but often unquestioned) assumptions about the best way to approach the texts or by underlying hermeneutical questions about the norms, limits and opportunities of reading Ancient Christian writers.

This book will raise profound hermeneutical questions surrounding the reading of the Fathers with greater clarity than it has been done before. The contributors to this volume are theologians and historians who have used contemporary post-modern approaches to illuminate the Ancien corpus of texts. The chapters discuss issues such as:
  • What makes a 'good' reading of a church Father?
  • What constitutes a 'responsible' reading?
  • Is the reading of the Fathers limited to a specialist audience?
  • What can modern thinkers contribute to our reading of the Fathers?

The publisher also provides the table of contents:

1.Foreword: Scot Douglass, Morwenna Ludlow
Part I: Postmodern Readings of the Fathers
2. Jean-Luc Marion’s Reading of Dionysius the Areopagite. Hermeneutics and Reception History (Johannes Zachhuber)
3.Time and the Responsibilities of Reading: Revisiting Derrida and Dionysius (David Newheiser)
4. Seeing God in Bodies: Wolfson, Rosenzweig, Augustine (Virginia Burrus)
Part II: Reading Postmodern Thinkers in Parallel with Reading the Fathers
5. Emmanuel Levinas and Gregory of Nyssa on Reading, Desire and Subjectivity (Tamsin Jones)
6. The Combinatory Detour: The prefix Sun- in Gregory of Nyssa’s Production of Theological Knowledge (Scot Douglass)
Part III: Reading the Fathers Reading Themselves
7. Text and Context: the Importance of Scholarly Reading. Gregory of Nyssa, Contra Eunomium (Matthieu Cassin)
8. Anatomy--Investigating the Body of Texts in Origen and Gregory of Nyssa (Morwenna Ludlow)
9. Afterword: Conversations about Reading

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anonymous comments are never approved. Use your real name and say something intelligent.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...