The Fathers and Beyond: Church Fathers between Ancient and Medieval Thought, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Fathers and Beyond

Church Fathers between Ancient and Medieval Thought, 1st Edition

By Marcia L. Colish


348 pages

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Hardback: 9780754659440
pub: 2008-02-28
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The papers in this second selection of articles by Professor Colish focus on thinkers of the patristic age, and relate to her three monographic studies in this area published over the last two decades. At the same time these papers look beyond the patristic period, both backward to these authors' appropriation of the classical and Christian traditions, and forward to their function as authorities in later medieval intellectual history, from the Carolingian Renaissance to Anselm of Canterbury, the scholastics, and Dante. Themes which these papers address include the transmission and use of Platonism and Stoicism, logic and linguistic theory, and the ethics of lying, moral indifference, and the salvation of the virtuous pagan.


’… Colish's erudition was for me a source of all sorts of information and insights.’ The Catholic Historical Review

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; The Neoplatonic tradition: the contribution of Marius Victorinus; St Augustine's rhetoric of silence revisited; The Stoic hypothetical syllogisms and their transmission in the Latin West through the early Middle Ages; Cosmetic theology: the transformation of a Stoic theme; Cicero, Ambrose, and Stoic ethics: transmission or transformation?; Classicism and catechesis in the patriarch treatises of Ambrose of Milan; Ambrose of Milan on chastity; Why the Portiana? Reflections on the Milanese basilica crisis of 386; Carolingian debates over nihil and tenebrae: a study in theological method; Mathematics, the Monad, and John the Scot's conception of nihil; John the Scot's Christology and soteriology in relation to his Greek sources; 11th-century grammar in the thought of St Anselm; St Anselm's philosophy of language reconsidered; The Stoic theory of verbal signification and the problem of lies and false statements from antiquity to St Anselm; Rethinking lying in the 12th century; Sanz 'nfamia e sanza lodo: moral neutrality from Alan of Lille to Dante; The virtuous pagan: Dante and the Christian tradition; Index.

About the Author

Marcia L. Colish, Yale University, USA.

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

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General