Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Bogdan Bucur - Exegesis and Intertextuality in Anastasius the Sinaite's Homily on the Transfiguration

Anastasius the Sinaite’s homily on the Transfiguration is generally overlooked by both scholars of Anastasius and research on the patristic interpretation of the Transfiguration.  This text discloses the meaning of Tabor by offering a sophisticated, beautiful, and deeply traditional weaving together of several theophanic texts—chiefly, the theophany at Bethel and at least three Sinai-events. In the first part of my presentation I intend to focus on the means by which Anastasius’ discourse achieves its rich intertextuality (use of LXX, quotation, allusion, wordplay, prosopology). In the second part I will show that Anastasius exemplifies a specific type of christological interpretation of biblical theophanies that has close parallels in Ps.-Ephrem Syrus and John of Damascus. This is, I argue, neither the spiritualizing Tabor exegesis of an Origen or Maximus the Confessor, nor a “typological” linking of foreshadowing and fulfilment, but rather representative of what has been described in recent years as the “re-written Bible” approach of the Byzantine hymnographic tradition.

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