This collection of articles first brings together a number of working papers which were significant in the development of Frances Young's understanding of patristic exegesis, studies not included in her ground-breaking book, Biblical Exegesis and the Formation of Christian Culture (1997), though paving the way for that work. Then comes a selection of papers on theology, church order and methodology, the whole collection constantly returning to themes such as the fundamental connection between theology and exegesis, the significant role of reflection on language, metaphor and symbol, and the creative interaction of early Christianity with its cultural and intellectual environment. These studies demonstrate the author's scholarly approach to patristic material, whereby careful attention is paid to actual texts from the past; but they also reveal the groundwork for her own theological explorations in the very different intellectual environment of the present.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; Part A From Exegesis to Hermeneutics: Adam and Anthropos: a study of the interaction of science and the Bible in two anthropological treatises of the 4th century; John Chrysostom on first and second Corinthians; Allegory and atonement; The rhetorical schools and their influence on patristic exegesis; The 4th century reaction against allegory; Allegory and the ethics of reading; From suspicion and sociology to spirituality: on method, hermeneutics and appropriation with respect to patristic material; The Apostolic Constitutions: a methodological case-study; On episcopos and presbyteros; Ministerial forms and functions in the Church communities of the Greek Fathers; Exegetical method and scriptural proof: the Bible in doctrinal debate; Proverbs 8 in interpretation (2): wisdom personified. Part B From Doctrine to Theology: Paideia and the myth of static dogma; The Confessions of St Augustine: what is the genre of this work?; Did Epiphanius know what he meant by heresy?; Creatio ex nihilo: a context for the emergence of the Christian doctrine of creation; Naked or clothed? Eschatology and the doctrine of creation; Creation and human being: the forging of a distinct Christian discourse; Theotokos: Mary and the pattern of fall and redemption in the theology of Cyril of Alexandria; The God of the Greeks and the nature of religious language; Index.
'... all [the twenty essays and lectures in this volume] are of considerable interest to anyone who is trying to come to grips with the formative period of our shared Christian past.' Ecclesiology