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81. Augustinianum: Volume > 55 > Issue: 2
Lydia Petridou, Christos Terezis George Pachymeres’ Gnoseological System And His Inductive Method in the Paraphrase of De Divinis Nominibus of Dionysius the Areopagite
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This study deals both with the gnoseological system of the byzantine theologian George Pachymeres, which is constructed on the methods of the affirmative, negative and superlative theology and the inductive method that he follows at his Paraphrase of De divinus nominibus of Dionysius the Areopagite, in order general conclusions on causality to be expressed. In the context of a consistent ontological monism, G. Pachymeres, without violating the epistemological approach of the Supreme Principle as Unknown, categorizes the sensible facts according to the similarities and the differences between them, so as to present God as the only cause of the produced world.
82. Augustinianum: Volume > 55 > Issue: 2
Sydney Sadowski A Critical Look and Evaluation of Augustine’s De haeresibus
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Today’s scholarship has paid little attention to the work of St. Augustine titled De Haeresibus ad Quodvultdeum. The following article will discuss the work itself in a couple of ways, first, by deciphering the sources used by Augustine and his definition of heresy; secondly, by categorizing the heresies in a way that is both understandable to the modern mind and consistent with current Catholic terminology, so that the language of the current century can be employed to describe and categorize heresies from the fifth century.
83. Augustinianum: Volume > 56 > Issue: 1
Edwina Murphy Cyprian’s Use of Philippians: To live is Christ and to die is gain
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Cyprian’s appropriation of Scripture and his theological emphases are closely connected with the circumstances of his congregation. As a case study in Cyprian’s biblical interpretation, this article considers all his quotations of and allusions to Philippians through the lens of his pastoral concerns: the unity of the Church; care for the poor and captive; discipline and repentance; and divine truth and eternal glory. The reading strategies Cyprian uses can be categorized as contextual exegesis, model, image, direct application, and prophetic fulfilment. The study provides a fresh perspective on patronage and almsgiving in Cyprian, deepens our understanding of the reception of Paul, and elucidates the interplay of text, context and theology in an important exponent of early Latin exegesis.
84. Augustinianum: Volume > 57 > Issue: 1
Joost van Neer Esau and Jacob (Sermon 4): Augustine’s Solution to an “Insoluble” Problem
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Augustine’s Sermon 4 on Esau and Jacob is long (860 lines) and consists of a complex division in 37 chapters. This division makes it difficult to identify quickly and easily the rhetorical arrangement which must have been an important factor in making this sermon a success in the context of Augustine’s struggle against Donatism. This same division has been handed down through the centuries. Once the existing, complex division into 37 chapters is relinquished, it is possible, on the basis of linguistic and Scriptural indications, to establish the existence of a new, simple division into 3 parts. A frame exists in these three parts that runs from creation (Gen. 1) to judgement (Mt. 25), in which Augustine discusses the stories of (the blessings of) Esau and Jacob (Gen. 25 and 27) in the context of the absence or presence of love (for which he employs 1 Cor. 13). Seen from this perspective, Esau represents the bad people who consciously permit themselves to be separated from the Church through the absence of love (a reference to the Donatist schism), while Jacob stands for the good people, who highlight the unity of the Church by availing themselves of love: by not acting on their own authority and expelling sinners, but by leaving judgement to God and by accepting them lovingly. The new division clearly reveals this message.
85. Augustinianum: Volume > 57 > Issue: 2
Angelo Di Berardino The Historical Geography of Asia Minor at the Time of Paul and Thecla: The Roman Provinces and the means of Communication
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The Apostle Paul exercised his ministry in the Roman provinces of Galatia and Asia. An unknown presbyter of the second century wrote the Acts of Paul. An important part of this text consists of the Acts of Paul and Thecla. Although sometimes these Acts circulated as a separate text, they recount the vicissitudes of the virgin Thecla, native of the city of Iconium (the present Konya). The events take place mainly in the cities of Iconium of Licaonia and of Antioch of Pisidia (Yalvaç), two neighboring regions in the heart of Anatolia in the Roman province of southern Galatia. The article intends to offer the historical, geographical, linguistic and cultural background of the Acts of Paul and Thecla of the second half of the second century.
86. Augustinianum: Volume > 57 > Issue: 2
Geoffrey D. Dunn Ecclesiology in Early North African Christianity: The Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds
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The Matthean parable of the wheat and the weeds (Matt 13:24-30) appears across the spectrum of writings of early Christians in north Africa. Given that the parable seems to advocate a non-judgemental acceptance of sinners within the community in the present age, while north African Christianity is known for its emphasis on membership purity and the exclusion of sinners, how was this parable handled in that context? This article argues that an author like Tertullian avoided the ecclesiological dimensions of the parable, and that Cyprian never applied the parable so as to reject the excommunication of the lapsed. Tyconius and Optatus made only passing reference to the parable. Augustine found the parable helpful in arguing against the Donatist practice of excommunicating traditores. Contra litteras Petiliani is considered in some detail. Yet even Augustine, who stands outside the north African tradition, believed in the excommunication.
87. Augustinianum: Volume > 57 > Issue: 2
P. J. J. van Geest ‘Sed ea quae obscura sunt praetermitto’ (Speculum 108): Augustine’s Selection of Scriptural Quotations in his Speculum as Proof of his Desire to Effect a Confrontation
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Although at first sight the Speculum contains ‘too little Augustine’ for theologians who are attempting to discover the originality of this thought, it is in fact a revealing anthology. An examination of the criteria used for the selection of Scriptural quotations brings to light an important facet of his mystagogy. Both the exclusion and inclusion criteria demonstrate that Augustine’s intention is to confront his reader with his own imperfections, and this to a much greater degree than is suggested by the understatement of Speculum 108 that the moral guidelines proffered should have an immediate impact. Augustine’s aim in writing the Speculum is to effect a confrontation of the reader with himself, in a first, but permanent step on the way of mystagogy. Scripture serves as a mirror to reflect as detailed and unpolished an image as possible of the person who looks into it; the confrontation must be as violent as possible.
88. Augustinianum: Volume > 58 > Issue: 1
Junghun Bae Almsgiving and the Therapy of the Soul in John Chrysostom’s Homilies on Matthew
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In recent years much scholarly work has explored the topic of John Chrysostom as an ancient “psychagogue”. In these recent studies, however, relatively little attention has been devoted to Chrysostom’s approach to almsgiving in relation to the cure of the soul. This article looks closely at Chrysostom’s view of almsgiving and soul therapy within the context of ancient philosophical therapy. Analyzing Chrysostom’s Homilies on Matthew, it demonstrates that for Chrysostom almsgiving is a crucial remedy for healing the sick soul.
89. Augustinianum: Volume > 58 > Issue: 1
Ewa Wipszycka The Canons of the Council of Chalcedon concerning Monks
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The aim of the article is to propose new answers to four fundamental questions concerning those rulings of the Council of Chalcedon in 451 that aim to regulate the functioning of monastic communities: 1. Why did the authors of the canons in question (emperor Marcian and patriarch Anatolius) propose legal regulations for the key organizational aspects of the life of monastic communities? 2. Which monastic groups were to be subject to these regulations? 3. What were the chances of the regulations being implemented? 4. What role did the canons have in relations between monks and the Church after Chalcedon? In her conclusions, the author emphasizes the Constantinopolitan context of the canons. She sees them as an example of “declarative law”, important in the sphere of ideology but hardly usable in practice. She explains her disagreement with those scholars who hold that the canons’ impact on the life of the Churches in the Empire was significant.
90. Augustinianum: Volume > 58 > Issue: 1
Thomas Clemmons The Common, History, and the Whole: Guiding Themes in De vera religione
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Augustine’s important work De uera religione has been frequently read for its Neoplatonic resonances. However, there is much in the work that cannot be reduced to this reading. Themes such as the importance of the common and public dimension of uera religio, the significance of history, and the function of ‘true religion’ toward the training and renewal of the whole human, are topoi that reveal the dynamic structure of the work. A consideration of these themes in uera rel. brings into full relief Augustine’s answer to why God acted in time and through history for the whole human race and helps to explain Augustine’s complex articulation of Christianity in the work.
91. Augustinianum: Volume > 58 > Issue: 1
Christos Terezis, Lydia Petridou Historical and Systematic Approaches of Pseudo-Dionysious the Areopagite’s De divinis nominibus: A Case Study (George Pachymeres)
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This is a case study of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite’s De divinis nominibus, a text about God’s names and properties in which human effort to comprehend the projections of the divine energies is described. We specifically focus our attention on the Paraphrasis of George Pachymeres, who was one of the most important representatives of the Palaeologan Renaissance and a great commentator on Pseudo-Dionysius’ works. His introduction to the De divinis nominibus provides us with the opportunity to approach it in two ways: from the historical point of view, we discuss the reason why the text was composed; from the systematic point of view, we discuss some general points about what names and definitions indicate. This is important for a better understanding of the rest of the treatise.
92. Augustinianum: Volume > 59 > Issue: 1
Francesco Berno The Nag Hammadi Reception of 1 Enoch. Some Preliminary Remarks and a Case Study: A Valentinian Exposition (NHC XI, 2; CPG 1216; CC 0669)
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The present article aims at providing a preliminary analysis of the literary and doctrinal relationship between the Nag Hammadi corpus and the Greek translation of 1 Enoch. The first section is devoted to examining the manuscript evidence for the Coptic reception of the Enochic dictate. The second part offers a more specific survey of this debated issue of the Valentinian Exposition (NHC XI, 2) and the so-called Liturgical Fragments (NHC XI, 2a-e).
93. Augustinianum: Volume > 59 > Issue: 1
Pierluigi Leone Gatti Much Ado about Nothing: An Answer to B. D. Shaw’s The Myth of the Neronian Persecution
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In recent years, the veracity of the tradition of the martyrdom of the apostles Peter and Paul has been disputed; recently, Brent Donald Shaw denied the historicity of the persecution of Christians. In this article, the author analyzes the texts of Tacitus and Suetonius as well as other texts omitted by Shaw and demonstrates the inconsistency of the hypotheses put forward by negationist scholars (Zwierlein; Shaw) from a theoretical and historical point of view.
94. Augustinianum: Volume > 59 > Issue: 1
Alberto Ferreiro Braulio of Zaragoza’s Letters on Mourning
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Braulio of Zaragoza (c. 585/595-651) was one of the most prolific writers of seventh century Visigothic Spain. The collection of 44 letters that he wrote are a unique and rich depository of information for that era and region of western Christendom. He was a personal adviser to three Visigothic kings, Chinthila and Chindasvinth and Reccesvinth, and he correspondended with his renowned contemporary Isidore of Seville. This study focuses on the letters that he directed at people who had lost a loved one and who needed consolation in their moment of mourning. The letters do not reveal anything about funerary burial practices, but they do yield a rare personal glimpse of what the Church taught about mourning the dead. Personal letters by their very nature are a literary means where peopleexpress their intimate feelings, in this case both those who were the recipients and Braulio who wrote to them. We see the Bishop of Zaragoza at his pastoral best in the letters of consolation written to family and friends who were mourning.
95. Augustinianum: Volume > 59 > Issue: 1
Jerzy Szafranowski The Life of the Jura Fathers and the Monastic Clergy
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This article challenges the belief – popular in modern scholarship – in the predominantly lay character of monastic communities before the 7th century. A closer look at the early 6th century Life of the Jura Fathers shows monasteries rich in monks who were at the same time presbyters and deacons. The paper investigates the reasons behind the clerical ordinations of monks and examines the various roles of presbyters and deacons in their monasteries. Finally, it considers the ways in which the ordained monks could have destabilized the community and the measures employed to counter their negative influence.
96. Augustinianum: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Thomas Crean Hilary of Poitiers on the inter-Trinitarian Relation of the Son and the Holy Spirit
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Given the authority accorded to Hilary of Poitiers by ecumenical councils of the 1st millennium, it is of interest to determine his teaching about the disputed question of the eternal relation of the Son and the Holy Spirit. The question is complex, partly because it is one that Hilary in most cases touches upon only indirectly, when arguing for the divinity of the Son, and partly because the meaning of the relevant passages, even on the level of Latin syntax, is often hard to determine, and a matter of disagreement between different translators or editors. Y. Congar and A. E. Siecienski, in their surveys of the discussions of the inter-trinitarian relations of the Son and the Holy Spirit in the patristic age do not examine all these textual difficulties, nor do they discuss the Opus Historicum, which contains a highly relevant passage on this subject. The present article attempts to throw light on the question by examining the key texts and suggesting answers to the problems of translation and interpretation that they present. It concludes that Hilary’s position is substantially identical to that which would later be agreed by the Greek and Latin churches at the council of Florence, and enshrined in the decree Laetentur caeli.
97. Augustinianum: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Michael P. Foley The Fruit of Confessing Lips: Sacrifice and the Genre of Augustine’s Confessions
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In an effort to identify the genre of the Confessions, this essay: 1) explains the patristic notion of confession and how Augustine expands upon this already-rich concept to include that of sacrifice; 2) offers an overview of Augustine’s pervasive sacrificial imagery in the Confessions, especially with respect to himself, Monica, Alypius, and the philosophi; and 3) teases out the implications of this imagery and how Augustine’s theology of sacrifice relates to the genre of his Confessions. We conclude the Confessions is best understood as a sacrifice offered to God by Augustine in his capacity as bishop on behalf of his readers so that they may join him in the transformative act of confessing.
98. Augustinianum: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Wendy Elgersma Helleman Predication according to Substance and Relation: The Argument of Augustine’s De Trinitate 6
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Well-known Augustinian scholars have complained about unresolved issues and the nature of argumentation of De Trinitate 6. In this book Augustine examines the role of 1 Cor. 1:24, Christum […] dei sapientiam in anti-Arian polemic, and critiques what may be considered quasi-relational predication of divine wisdom. The present essay surveys recent scholarship on book 6, with special attention to the commentary of M. Carreker, affirming the role of logic in this book. It examines Augustine’s understanding of the genitive in the key phrase, sapientia dei, and recognizes that, in spite of his critique, Augustine goes out of his way in affirming the Nicene argument in order to do justice to the longstanding patristic tradition appropriating wisdom for Christ as God’s Son.
99. Augustinianum: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Kolawole Chabi Augustine’s Eucharistic Spirituality in his Easter Sermons
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This article studies Augustine’s Eucharistic Spirituality as it emerges primarily from his preaching, in his catechesis during the Easter Season. It investigates how the bishop of Hippo explains to the neophytes the transformation that makes bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ in order to ignite their awareness about what it is that they receive at the Altar. It further considers what Augustine indicates as the spiritual disposition necessary for the reception of the sacrament and its effects in the life of those who worthily share in it. Finally, the article explores the link Augustine establishes between the Eucharist and the Church to demonstrate the importance of Unity among those who approach the Altar of the Lord and the need to continuously become what we receive even today as we perpetuate the memorial of the Lord in our Eucharistic celebrations.
100. Augustinianum: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Christos Terezis, Lydia Petridou Angels in the Areopagetic Tradition: An Approach to Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite’s angelological Theory by George Pachymeres
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In this article, we deal with the intelligible world of the angels in the Areopagetic tradition and we compose references found in the De divinis nominibus to form, as far as possible, a complete definition of them. This systematic approach to the Areopagetic corpus takes into consideration Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite’s text and George Pachymeres’ Paraphrasis of this treatise. We also offer a methodological proposal on how we can structure theoretically general concepts that refer to objective realities, which however cannot be proved by the tools of formal Logic.