Early Medieval Exegesis in the Latin West: Sources and Forms, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Early Medieval Exegesis in the Latin West

Sources and Forms, 1st Edition

By Thomas O'Loughlin


364 pages

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Hardback: 9781409468189
pub: 2013-09-28
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One of the significant developments in scholarship in the latter half of the twentieth century was the awareness among historians of ideas, historians of theology, and medievalists of the importance of the Christian scriptures in the Latin Middle Ages. In contrast to an earlier generation of scholars who considered the medieval period as a ’Bible-free zone’, recent investigations have shown the central role of scripture in literature, art, law, liturgy, and formal religious education. Indeed, to understand the Latin Middle Ages one must understand the value they placed upon the Bible, how they related to it, and how they studied it. However, despite the new emphasis on the Bible’s role and the place of exegesis in medieval thought, our detailed understanding is all too meagre - and generalisations, often imagined as valid for a period of close to a millennium, abound. How the Scriptures were used in one pursuit (formal theology for example relied heavily on ’allegory’) was often very different to the way they were used in another (e.g. in history writing was interested in literal meanings), and exegesis differed over time and with cultures. Similarly, while most medieval writers were agreed that there were several ’senses’ within the text, the number and nature varied greatly as did the strategies for accessing those meanings. This collection of fifteen articles, concentrating on the early Latin middle ages, explores this variety and highlights just how patchy has been our understanding of medieval exegesis. We now may be aware of the importance of the Bible, but the task of studying that phenomenon is in its infancy.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction; Part 1 Processing the Patristic Inheritance: ‘Aquae super caelos (Gen 1:6-7): the first faith-science debate?; The controversy over Methuselah’s death: proto-chronology and the origins of the western concept of inerrancy; Adam’s burial at Hebron: some aspects of its significance in the Latin tradition; A woman’s plight and the western fathers. Part 2 Developing New Exegetical Strategies: Julian of Toledo’s Antikeimenon and the development of Latin Exegesis; The exegetical purpose of Adomnán’s De Locis Sanctis; The symbol gives life: Eucherius of Lyons’ formula for exegesis; Biblical contradictions in the Periphyseon and the development of Eriugena’s method; The plan of the New Jerusalem in the Book of Armagh. Part 3 Exegesis as a Practice: Adam’s Rib and the equality of the sexes: some medieval exegesis of Gen 2:21-22; The waters above the heavens, Isidore, and the Latin tradition; Seeking the early medieval view on the Song of Songs; The gates of Hell: from metaphor to fact; The mysticism of number in the medieval period before Eriugena; Individual anonymity and collective identity: the enigma of early medieval Latin theologians; Indexes.

About the Author

Thomas O'Loughlin is Professor of Historical Theology at the University of Nottingham, UK.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at Michael.Greenwood@informa.com

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Medieval