Friday, 24 May 2019

Manea Erna Shirinian: Schema isagogicum apud Patres Ecclesiae

The aim of this paper is to show that the so called schema isagogicum was widely used not only in late antiquity and among late Platonist commentators, but was actively applied for the study of the Bible and biblical exegesis, especially by the Fathers of the Church. Experts use to speak only about Origen and Proclus exercising these isagogical structures while there exist sources, which can prove that the prolegomena - introductory studies or questions, which use to have a propaedeutic character, are present in the commentaries on the books of the Bible by such an authorities as Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory the Theologian, Basil of Caesarea, Evagrius Ponticus, Ephrem the Syrian et al.The main witness to this statement is found in Armenian translations of such prolegomena called mainly "causes" (patčaŕk‘). Moreover, in Armenian manuscript tradition there exist even a collections of these "causes". One of them is the writing under the provisional title the Book of Causes, fuller title reads: "The Causes of wide and subtle writings taken from [the works] of the holy fathers and vardapets (doctors of theology) gathered together and provided by the great rabunapet Grigor, the son of Abas".This unpublished yet isagogical manual, i.e a handbook on Biblical Introduction, composed in the early13th century in Armenia,by the abbot of Sanahin Monastery Grigor the son of Abas. This book is an amazing witness of the Armenian reception of the Greek philosophical and patristic theological heritage.

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