Thursday, 2 April 2015

Shari Boodts: Videmus nunc per speculum in aenigmate (I Cor. 13, 12). The transmission and reception of Augustine via medieval compilation-commentaries Paper: The reception of Augustine in a 9th-century commentary on Romans (Paris Bibl.Nat. Lat. 11574)

Paris Bibl. Nat. Lat. 11574 is the unique witness to an anonymous Carolingian commentary on Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. The commentary consists of 841 extracts from the works of patristic authors, organised to form a continuous exegesis of Romans. Its most prominent sources are Augustine, Ambrosiaster, Origen and Pelagius. The commentary’s subject, date (first half of the 9th century), and location (Northern France, possibly St. Riquier) conspire to make it a highly relevant source for our understanding of theological thought and debate in the Carolingian period, in particular the controversy surrounding Gottschalk of Orbais’s theory of double predestination, which relied heavily on the reception and interpretation of Augustine’s doctrine of grace. This paper will make a first attempt to position the commentary in relation to the 9th-century predestination debate through an analysis of the quotations selected by the compiler to clarify a pivotal passage in the theology of predestination, Rom. 8, 29-30. The central research questions guiding this analysis will be: ‘What does the process of selection, adaptation, and embedding of the Augustinian sources for this passage reveal about the tenor of the compilation and the theological views of the compiler? How does it reflect the compiler’s understanding of Augustine’s multi-faceted and evolving doctrine of grace?’. The answer to these questions on the basis of the section devoted to Rom. 8, 29-30 will offer a first step to introducing the commentary in Lat. 11574 as a vehicle conserving the Augustinian heritage and as a new contributor to the study of grace in the Carolingian era.

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