Sunday, 3 May 2015

Susan Cremin: Bede's interpretative practice in his Homilies on the Gospels

Scholars have asserted that as a biblical commentator, Bede did not practise the fourfold method of scriptural exegesis systematically and for the most part his evaluation of Scripture concentrated on two meanings, the literal sense and a spiritual designation. Nevertheless, there is evidence in Bede’s Homeliarum evangelii of a more formulated intention with regard to the different senses of scriptural interpretation than has been previously recognized. My communication puts forward that Bede’s preaching in his homiliary reflects the different schemes for understanding the biblical text recommended by him in his treatise De schematibus et tropis. I examine how in his sermons different senses of Scripture are implicitly enfolded within the homiletic format and comprise of an expository interplay of historical, allegorical, tropological and anagogical significances based on the gospel reading.  Also considered is how the gospel homilies illustrate that Bede’s Christology was central to his theological outlook and informed his exegetical method and mentality. Bede’s preaching on Christ and the economy of salvation articulates a perspective regarding the New Testament that was linked to his belief in what allegory revealed as part of the fourfold technique of interpreting Scripture.

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