Sunday, March 27, 2011

This Week in Patristics March 20-26th, 2011

Welcome to the inaugural edition of 'This Week in Patristics'. There are many interesting things on offer, so I hope you enjoy!

Rod of Alexandria on the Political Jesus blog quips about Neo-Platonism, the emergent church and orthodoxy (that just makes me tired writing!)

Father Z on the What does the Prayer Really Say? blog discusses a patristically informed response to the current sexual scandals in the Roman Catholic Church. By employing the lessons learned from the Donatist controversy, Father Z reminds us that the human-ness and, hence, the fallibility of priests and bishops today doesn't invalidate the Gospel.

Timothy on the Catholic Bibles blog discusses the spiritual and literal sense of the Bible.

Julie D. on the Happy Catholic blog reviews volume two of Pope Benedict's homilies on the Fathers.

Chaplain Mike on the Internet Monk blog continues a series about the Apostolic Fathers by featuring a discussion on St. Polycarp of Smyrna.

Roger Pearse on his self-named blog discussed the colophon of the Tura papyrus of Origen's Contra Celsum which claims to have been copied from Origen's own copy.

rico on ricoblog discusses Barnabas 9, 3-4 including beautiful conjunctions.

Josephus Flavus on the Byzantine, Texas blog reports on the intriguingly inter-disciplinary book by Father Alexander Trader, Ancient Christian Wisdom and Aaron Beck's Cognitive Therapy which combines patristics, pastoral theology and psychology to discuss how thinking influences our behavior. I'm going to have to try to hunt this up myself.

Associated with Father Trader's book, there is a series of four guest posts on different blogs dealing with the background of this book. Only two of the four are out, but we'll be watching for the other two next week. Mystagogy features the first of these posts on Trader's book, followed by Second Terrace's second post. Watch for the third post on the Voice of Stefan and the last post at Biblicalia.

C.H. Featherstone on the Featherblog reviews Peter Leithart's book, Defending Constantine. The Twilight of an Empire and the Dawn of Christendom rather favourably, given his Hauerwasian and Yoderian roots.

That is it for this week. I hope enjoyed these offerings and I look forward to posting again this week. Peace, Phil

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Announcing 'This Week in Patristics'

Over the last few weeks, I've been thinking further about this blog and what would be the most useful use of my energy for it. Over the last few years, I've found it difficult to produce original essays every week, so I was thinking it might be a better approach to get back to being useful again. So, as an experiment, I thought I would return to surveying the patristic-blogging world again. This, I stress, may prove as unsustainable as writing original entries, but I'm hoping that, if I work on this steadily, the burden won't be as heavy as it was when I quit.

To that end, I decided I would abandon the monthly format of the old Patristics Carnival in favour of a weekly one. This sounds counter-intuitive- how can a weekly wrap-up be less work than a monthly one?-, but what a basic problem with the Patrisics Carnival by the end was that the volume of the work at the end of the month was so great that I couldn't manage the concentrated time every month. By forcing myself to work weekly (and hopefully, daily), I'm hoping I can spread the work more evenly. It is, at least, worth a try.

To that end, I'll conclude with a couple comments on editorial policy, my contact information and the date of the first posting of 'This Week in Patristics'.

All blog entries dealing with patristics are welcome as long as they are original
works. Mere quotations of either patristic authors or scholars will not be considered,
as they are basically derivative. However, comment on patristic texts, translations,
historical or theological discussions of Church Fathers or of apocryphal texts will be
considered. All faith traditions or lack thereof will be eligible, provided that their
discussion is informed and respectful.

Generally, I will rely on Google Updates and my own skimming of the likely suspects to
find entries of interest, but, if you know of a patristic blog entry, please send it along to
me at

I will, God willing, post my first 'This Week in Patristics' on Sunday, March 27th, 2011.