Monday, April 25, 2011

This Week in Patristics- The Holy Week Edition (April 17-23rd, 2011)

Christ is risen!

I'm starting this edition of 'This Week in Patristics' on Easter Sunday night after the standard busy time which is Holy Week. The week culminates in the 'Triduum triathlon' as we say in our house. In the 'triathlon', we begin with the celebration of the Last Supper and move directly into the arrest of Jesus on Maundy Thursday through Good Friday and the crucifixion to Easter Vigil on Saturday (the most luminous and longest service all year)and, of course, the joy of Easter Day. It is an exhausting, but, at the same time, invigorating three days- three days which remind us what makes Jesus different, condemned to die, only to save us all by defeating death on its own terms.

This Lent and Holy Week has been, of course, marked by the same marketing of religious skepticism (the 'Lead Tablet'- the latest update from PaleoJudaica- and crucifixion nails are this year's installments), but, for me, it has been marked by conversations with friends and colleagues as they wonder what it is that we Christians do in this week. Perhaps it is a query about how depressing Good Friday is (even if we can't get to Easter without it). Perhaps it is wondering who is this Jesus person is? Sometimes it is an agnostic, a Christian and a Muslim (it sounds like the beginning of a joke, doesn't it?)sitting around and talking about God. Unlike most weeks of the year, this week is an occasion to talk about God. I'm not sure what was the result of all that talk this week, mind you- I leave that in God's hand-, but it was good to be reminded of the hope and grace which Jesus has taught me over the years.

Meanwhile, to business, patristics this week:

The Secretary-Treasurer of the NAPS (love that acronym- actually, North American Patristics Society) reviews John Leemans, Brian Metz, Stephan Verstraaten eds, Reading Patristics Texts on Social Ethics: Issues and Challenges for 21st Century Christian Thought. I'm already planning on getting a hold of it from my local university library. I'm excited already!

Alin Suciu on his self-named blog discusses aspects of his research on Coptic Patristics with a discussion of a newly-discovered fragment of the Coptic version of St. Athony's life found at Oxford, the appearence of a fragment of the Pseudo-Gospel of the Twelve Apostles at an auction at Southby's and a discussion of the Asceticon of Abba Isaiah. Thanks to Alin for contacting me. Really, if you want to be sure to appear in this update, contact me!

Rick Brannan on ricoblog features a review of two introductions to the Apostolic Fathers.

Nick Norelli on the Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth blog considers books on crucifixion and Jewish and Christian perceptions of it. He also alerts us to a sale of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers second series on CBD until midnight tonight.

Joel Watts on the Unsettled Christianity blog considers the Catholic reading of Matthew 16, 17-19 in the light of St. Cyprian.

Steve on Triablogue assembles Derrell Bock's chapter by chapter review of Bart Ehrman's book, Forged.

That is about it for this week. Hope you enjoyed the offerings.

The Lord is risen indeed!


Sunday, April 17, 2011

This Week in Patristics April 10-16th

Welcome to the beginning of Holy Week and, of course, another week of Patristics in blogsphere. The Editor on the blog offers a catena of patristic quotes on abortion.

The Catholic blog notes the suggestion of an Orthodox official that modern psychology could benefit from reading the Church Fathers.

Joel on the Christian Watershed blog discusses the shortcoming of conservative evangelicals and emergent Christians and challenges them to read the Fathers and nothing but the Fathers for a year (complete with reading list). Not a bad idea. Thanks to Darrel Pursiful on the Doctor Playtpus blog who pointed out this entry and notes the Reformer's debt to the Fathers.

Father Ernesto Obregon on the Ortho-Cuban blog considers humility, the pastor and St. John Climacus.

Roger Pearse on his self-named blog discusses the frequently repeated charge that Eusebius of Caesarea and St. Basil both attacked science. Pearse tracks down the charges, searches out the references used to back them and, in the course of doing so, raises real doubt about whether the comments are attacks on science or against novelty or allegory respectively. Thus, proving my contention that, if you're not quite sure that an argument quite works, you should always dig through the references.

Larry Hurtado on his self-named blog discusses a Early Christian 'Testimonia' text from Oxyrhenchus. HT to Jim Davila on the PaleoJudaica blog.

That is it for now. Hope you enjoy the entries and please remember to pass along any mentions you run into as you surf. Next Sunday is Easter, of course, so I'm not guaranteeing that I'll post right on Sunday. I'll have the update by Monday night, I should think. Peace, Phil

Monday, April 11, 2011

This Week in Patristics- April 3rd-April 9th, 2011

As promised, late, but here is the This Week in Patristics. A little light as far as entries, largely because I just didn't have the energy to follow the Lead Codices debacle (for a good blogography for this week, see April DeConick).

Ben Witherington on his Bible and Culture blog takes a detailed look at the discussion about forgery in early Christianity in Bart Erhrman's new book, Forged, in three parts (Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three). Both Ehrman and Witherington are talking mostly about Biblical texts, but there is enough patristic content to include here. He also includes a discussion about the much vexed lead tablets from Jordan.

Mark Stevens on the Near Emmaus blog reviews David Alan Black's Why Four Gospels?

Seraphim Holland on the St. Nicholas Orthodox Church blog considers St. Mary of Egypt by numbers.

A.Z. Foreman on his Poems in Translation blog writes a blistering critique of early and late Christianity. He's not wrong about a lot of the sins of Christianity, but he relentlessly refuses to see any good coming out of Christianity either. And he has enough Classical learning to back up his argument. Mind you, he is way to one-sided, but that happens.

Michelle Van Loon on the Englewood Review of Books blog reviews Brant Petre's book, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist from the point of view of a Messianic Jew.

The next update in the Patristics blogging world is coming out next Sunday. See you then! Peace, Phil

Sunday, April 03, 2011

This Week in Patristics March 27th-April 2nd, 2011

Welcome to the second installment of This Week in Patristics. This week, we hear the echoes of controversy over Rob Bell's new book and the Jordanian Lead Tablets debacle as well as more Orthdoox reaction to Father Alex Trader's book on ancient Christian tradition and cognitive therapy. Enjoy!

Dr. Adam DeVille on the Eastern Christian Books blog discusses Rob Bell's new book, Bell's alleged universalism in light of similar accuasations leveled against Origen.

Father Alex Trader continues his guest posts at various Eastern Orthodox blogs which outline his new book on Ancient Christian Wisdom and cognitive therapy (see last week for the first two). He discusses the importance of thinking on the Voice of Stefan and the practical value of his approach on Biblicalia.

Andy Naselli on his self-named blog discusses Michael Haykin's book, Rediscovering the Fathers.

Roger Pearse
on his self-named blog discusses first reactions to the lead tablets found in Jordan and recently publicized with a follow-up on their probable (dubious) quality. He also gives a series of updates on the culmination of his Eusebius project, publishing the Gospel Problems and Solutions, noting the arrival of his proof copy and frustrations with the design of the dust jacket.

Jim Davila on the PaleoJudaica blog features several updates with many, many useful links on the increasingly infamous lead tablets on March 29th, March 30, March 31st, April 1st, and sums up with some random thoughts.

April DeConnick on The Forbidden Gospel blog discusses the lead tablets with considerable (and understandible skepticism (even if I quibble on the skepticism about lead tablets- those are used for curse tablets), confirmed later in the week with the conviction that the tablets are forgeries.

I hope you enjoy this week's offerings. This coming week is a bit busy with report cards, so if I'm a little late with this upcoming entry, don't worry, I'll get it done by Monday night, April 11th at the latest.

Peace, Phil