Kannengiesser - Handbook of Patristic Exegesis - Bible in Ancient Christianity

Charles Kannengiesser - Handbook of Patristic Exegesis
The term “patristic” first appeared in print in the work of the Lutheran scholar J. F. Buddeus in 1727 (Mühlenberg 1996, 100). The word calls on a very ancient, inner-church tradition in vigor at least since the fourth century, recognizing certain former leaders of Christian communities as patres, “Fathers.” This honorific title implied orthodoxy, intellectual leadership, and in most cases, a literary legacy. While the title “Fathers” continues to be widely used for its convenience (but not without criticism for its gender bias), in contemporary scholarship it denotes the heritage of the early church as forming a distinctive cultural reality. The “patristic” era is located in history between the gospel event, to which the nt witnesses, and the collapse of the Roman Empire, that is, from the first to the seventh century of the Common Era in the West or to the ninth century in the East.
 
For many readers, rather than Handbook of Patristic Exegesis, a more accessible title might be Handbook of Ancient Christian Exegesis, since the phrase “ancient Christian” has a broader currency than “patristic.” On the other hand, if “patristic” has been preferred, it is because the precise focus of the Handbook is on the academic achievements in the field, that is, on the work of modern “patristic” scholars about ancient Christian exegesis, rather than about ancient Christian exegesis for its own sake. Hence its goal is not to add another study to the many publications already registered within its pages, but through analyzing relevant scholarly contributions, to attempt a coherent understanding of scholarly achievements within the whole field of patristic exegesis for almost a century. Thus an important goal is to provide a broader readership with an easy access to what has become highly specialized research and, on occasion, even to inform the specialists themselves of what is going on within the discipline.
 
There has been no earlier attempt to produce such a Handbook in the field of patristic exegesis. A survey of patristic literature centered on hermeneutical issues, valuable and needed as it may be, such as the recent "Introduction à l’histoire de l’exégèse" by B. de Margerie, or the succinct Profilo by M. Simonetti, or again, the attractive Epochen der Bibelauslegung by H. Graf Reventlow, does not adequately comply with the requirements of a Handbook. Two main reasons may explain the lack of such an important tool:
 
(1) The study of patristic exegesis as the scientific retrieval of early Christian traditions in a distinctive field of historical research found its proper scholarly recognition only after World War II. Hence a short survey of the development of relevant studies during the five decades 1945-1995 needs to follow the present introductory remarks.
 
(2) The recognition of patristic exegesis as a distinctive field since the early 1950s resulted in such a prolific outpouring of studies that at first it seemed impossible to attempt a coherent and balanced assessment of all the scholarship involved. That very recognition has itself now reached the status of a critical expertise, in addition to new hermeneutical questions also to be discussed in the present introduction.
 

Charles Kannengiesser - Handbook of Patristic Exegesis

(The Bible in Ancient Christianity, vol. 1)
LEIDEN/ BOSTON : BRILL, 2006
ISSN: 1542-1295 
ISBN-13: 978-90-04-15361-5 
ISBN-10: 90-04-15361-6
 

Charles Kannengiesser - Handbook of Patristic Exegesis - Contents

List of Special Contributions 
Alphabetical List of Principal Authors & Anonymous Works Discussed 
Preface 
Abbreviations 
Introduction 
Part A. General Considerations
I. Patristic Exegesis: Fifty Years of International Research 
II. Judaism and Rhetorical Culture: Two foundational Contexts for Patristic Exegesis 
III. Patristic Hermeneutics 
IV. Patristic Exegesis of the Books of the Bible 
Part B. Historical Survey
V. The Second Century 
VI. Third-Century Greek Christian Literature 
VII. Third-Century Latin Christian Literature 
VIII. Mani and Manichaeism 
IX. Fourth- and Fifth-Century Greek Christian Literature 
X. Sixth- to Eighth-Century Greek Christian Literature 
XI. Fourth- and Fifth-Century Latin Christian Literature 
XII. Sixth- and Seventh-Century Latin Christian Literature 
XIII. Syriac Christian Literature 
XIV. Patristic Exegesis in Armenian, Georgian, Coptic, and Ethiopian Christian Literature 
Epilogue: A Voice from the “Ends of the Earth”—The Venerable Bede’s Use of Scripture 
Index of Names for the Introduction and Part A 
 

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