"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).

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Harp of Prophecy

The University of Notre Dame Press sent me their fall catalogue last week, and in it are several books of note, including this collection edited by Paul Kolbet and one of the leading patristics scholars of our time (and secretary of the North American Orthodox-Catholic dialogue), Brian Daley: The Harp of Prophecy: Early Christian Interpretation of the Psalms (UND Press, November 2014),344pp.

About this collection, which includes at least one Orthodox author, we are told:

The Psalms generated more biblical commentary from early Christians than any other book of the Hebrew and Christian canon. While advances have been made in our understanding of the early Christian preoccupation with this book and the traditions employed to interpret it, no study on the Psalms traditions exists that can serve as a solid academic point of entry into the field. This collection of essays by distinguished patristic and biblical scholars fills this lacuna. It not only introduces readers to the main primary sources but also addresses the unavoidable interpretive issues present in the secondary literature. The essays in The Harp of Prophecy represent some of the very best scholarly approaches to the study of early Christian exegesis, bringing new interpretations to bear on the work of influential early Christian authorities such as Athanasius,  Augustine, and Basil of Caesarea. Subjects that receive detailed study include the dynamics of early Christian political power, gender expressions, and the ancient conversation between Christian, Jewish, and Greek philosophical traditions. The essays and bibliographic materials enable readers to locate and read the early Christian sources for themselves and also serve to introduce the various interdisciplinary methods and perspectives that are currently brought to bear on early Christian psalm exegesis. Students and scholars of theology and biblical studies will be led in new directions of thought and interpretation by these innovative studies.
The contributors include: Gary A. Anderson, Paul M. Blowers, Michael Cameron, Ronald R. Cox, Brian E. Daley, S.J., Luke Dysinger, O.S.B., Nonna Verna Harrison, Ronald E. Heine, David G. Hunter, Paul R. Kolbet, Michael C. McCarthy, S.J., and John J. O’Keefe.

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