Friday, 3 April 2015

Dominique Cote: Rufinus of Aquileia and the Recognitions: Literary Strategies and Doctrinal Standpoints

Unknown to us are the authors of the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies and Recognitions. Furthermore, a precise dating of the texts, to say nothing of the source they share, remains a difficult challenge. In contrast, we possess substantial knowledge of Rufinus of Aquileia, the Recognitions' Latin translator. It remains to ask what led Rufinus to go from reader of theRecognitions to become its translator; and, in so doing, to ponder to what extent he may be regarded as author of the work. My paper seeks to address questions of this sort; questions that are obviously linked to the vexing matter of Rufinus' reliability as a translator. Basing myself on recent studies by Duval (2008) and Chin (2010), and making profitable use of the notion of "literary terrain"-Pierre Bourdieu's champ litéraire-I shall offer an interpretation of Rufinus' preface to his translation of theRecognitions that takes into account two relevant contextual aspects. Firstly, I shall explore its literary context by seeking to define Christian thought in relation to Greek culture. Secondly, I shall elaborate the broader late fourth century doctrinal context with reference to the Origenist Controversy.

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