Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Patristic Roundup-Dec. 21-27, 2006

Welcome to the second week of the Patristic Roundup!

I noticed a couple of things this week. First, predictably, mentions of the Fathers were frequent this week, largely because of the drearily predictable, if necessary, blog entries (pro and con) about Christmas. Depending on your point of view, the Fathers are either villains of the piece (co opting nice innocent pagan customs) or heroes (pillaging the Egyptians, as Augustine would say).

Second, I've noticed in the little time that I've been posting this roundup that most of these mentions were drive-bys, so I chose not to include them. It seems that we are still at the stage where it is educated to mention the Fathers, but not to have read them. Still, mentioning them is something.

Yet, my hope with this roundup is that more people will be encouraged to read the Fathers at first hand and see how good theologians the Fathers were.

Patristic Articles:

Al Hsu at The Suburban Christian reports on a talk by Martin Marty on the diversity in the ordering of churches in the early Christian period. Not only do we get a good idea of the talk and the discussion which follows, we also get some interesting commentary on the difference between theologians and church historians. I also liked Al's self-identification as an evangelical mutt. Mind you, so am I.

The Gimmie My Bullets blog offers one of the many discussions of the December 25th date for Christmas. I hadn't realized that Julius Africanus had established the date in the late second century AD. I must track that reference.

The Dyspraxic Fundamentalist on his Patristic Page posts a passage from Cyril of Alexandria on the Incarnation. And just in time for Christmas!

Danny Garland on Irish Catholic and Dangerous posts a quote from Saint Aphrahate on Patristic Typology

William Whedon continues to post Patristic Quotes of the Day on Whedon's Blog.

Mike Aquilina on the Way of the Fathers, quotes a review of his book, The Fathers of the Church, by Craig Meyer which includes an excellent discussion on the importance to get our story out in the face of the challege offered by the Da Vinci Code's version of early Christian history. Mike, then, follows up this post with a brilliant post on Christmas and its importance in the Christian life.

albert m on Christian Book Reviews discusses Jaroslav Pelican's The Christian Tradition Volume 3. which starts in the later patristic era and continues into the mediaeval tradition.

John Lyons reports on the conference on the Reception of the Bible in Late Antiquity held at Concordia University, Montreal in October of this year. Enjoy!

Jim Davila on PaleoJudaica posts some sensible comments by Peter Stanford on the whole Gospel of Judas debacle. . On Christmas Day, he helpfully quoted the earliest extant reflection on the star in Matthew's birth story from Ignatius of Antioch

Dim Bulb at The Divine Lamp features a catena of quotations from St. Justin and St. Irenaeus on Mary from The Blessed Virgin in the Fathers of the First Six Centuries by Father Thomas Livy

Prior Peter at the Daily Bread blog favourably reviews Ramsay MacMullin's book on the 4th century ecumenical councils, Voting About God, as one of the best books of 2006.

Patrick O'Hanigan at The Paragraph Farmer, one of the many Catholic bloggers to comment on Pope Benedict's Christmas message, features the link between Papal and Patristic insight.

Brian Leport comments on James, Paul and the prophet Agabus in Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History.

Gentile for Judaism takes on the virgin birth and the patristic argument that it was necessary for Jesus (Yeshua) to be the Messiah.

That is it for this week. If you should encounter an article that I've missed, please pass it along.



Jim said...

Happy New Year Phil,

I suspect the most pernicious results of the web is the unending spread of the false claims against the Way in general and Christmas in particullar. Yes, it is true that some Christmas customs were taken over from pagan customs. No it is not true that the bad Christians stole the holidays from the good, gentle, loving Druids! {sarcasm intended}


Phil S. said...

I think you're right there, although I suspect that the web has only given more voices to the trend. I wouldn't have as many issues with the claims if they weren't so messed up in their history. Scraps of historical fact and lots of surmise is what annoys me here and leads me to conclude that arguing is just a futile exercise.



John Lyons said...

I notice from your use of the word 'report' that I have mistakenly given the impression that I attended the conference in Montreal. Wish I had. No, I was just giving the conference details as a further example of work nopw being done on Reception of the Bible. But it does look very enjoyable - Wilken especially is something of a hero of mine.