Scripture with the Fathers
In the home-stretch of Daniélou’s From Shadows to Reality, a series of studies in the main threads of early patristic typology. I have to confess that the material is a bit drier than I expected (if you can believe that). Much of it is “so-and-so wrote this, so-and-so affirmed it, but so-and-so’s Homily on Foofooius draws from Philo…” and again I’m not really sure what I was expecting. The book is exactly as described on the cover: studies in the typology of the fathers. I read one of his other books on sacramental typology (The Bible and the Liturgy) and thought it was a bit more engaging. In any case, I can see coming back to this for consultation now and again. It’s a near-certainty to me that reliance on historical-critical exegesis leaves something of a void that a return to the fathers can fill. From the introduction:
Few things are more disconcerting for the modern man than the Scriptural commentaries of the Fathers of the Church. On the one hand there is a fullness, both theological and spiritual which gives them a richness unequalled elsewhere. But at the same time modern man feels a stranger to their outlook and they cut clean through his modes of thought. Hence the depreciation, so common, of Patristic exegesis, which in varying degrees is felt among so many of our contemporaries. We cannot help feeling that this suspicion is due to the fact that, in all the works of the Golden Age of the Fathers, we find side by side the most divergent interpretations, in which good an dbad are inextricably mixed. The problem is how to find one’s way in this new world. If Origen speaks of the “vast forest of the Scriptures,” how much more true is this of the luxuriant commentaries which have grown up around the Scriptures.
I just started the section on the Joshua cycle, and it looks a bit more interesting. We’ll see.
In other news, we just started Chernobyl. I believe I’d watch a miniseries of Jared Harris just working crossword puzzles and putzing around in his kitchen.