Marguerite Harl: From Gregory of Nyssa to the Septuagint.

  1. Lemma
  2. Marguerite Harl: De la Grigore de Nyssa la Septuaginta.
  3. Romanian
  4. Stavinschi, Alexandra
  5. Orthodox theological tradition and practice > Patristic studies - Co-existence - Key thinkers - Scientific theories and disciplines > Religious studies - Ecumenism and dialogue > Westernism and anti-westernism
  6. 24-1-2017
  7. Bădiliţă, Cristian [Author]. Marguerite Harl: From Gregory of Nyssa to the Septuagint.
  8. Stiinta dragoste credinta. Convorbiri cu patrologi europeni. [Science faith love. Conversations with European patrologists]
  9. Septuagint - St. Gregory Palamas - Hermeneutics - France - Classical studies
    1. 55-67
    1. The second dialogue of Cristian Badilita’s book "Science love faith" is with Marguerite Harl, emeritus professor of the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne and a direct disciple of Henri-Irénée Marrou. In the late 1950s, she introduced at Sorbonne the study of the Greek Christian authors, who until that time were considered unsuitable, following the law of separation of the secular religious education (1905). However, from the interview that Badilita had with her it emerges that in her approach any contact with theology and Christian faith is excluded. While this can be shocking to some of us, this radical vision appears nevertheless perfectly legitimate within the French paradigm. Apart from her teaching activity, Marguerite Harl has carried out extensive research, translations and publishing. In the beginning of the dialogue she recalls how patristics, in particular Greek patristics, was taught and studied at Sorbonne when she was a young student. An important change occurred in 1945, when Henri-Irénée Marrou transformed the History of religions course into a chair of History of the Early Christianity, although he didn’t teach patristics himself. Harl emphasizes that patristics was indirectly introduced in the parisian university, thanks to the development of classical studies. For thirty years, she could teach a seminar on Greek patristics. This was possible with the help of Marrou and Jacques Fontaine and thanks to the encouragement from philologists such as Pierre Chantraine. She concludes that the best approach to patristics is a cultural approach. In the French education systems, where science and religion are separate areas, she recalls finding inspiration in a book she read early on in her literary studies: "The religious ideal of the Greeks and the Gospel", by Father André-Jean Festugière. She realized then that we could do research on classical texts while meditating on fundamental aspects of the Christian religion. Although theologians had converted her to patristics, she kept favouring the historical and philological approach to texts. Her research was decisively influenced by H.-I. Marrou. His seminar on the history of early Christianity imposed strict rules: historical texts needed to be contextualised but at the same time students were taught to identify the coherence and peculiarities of each text. She did not follow the theological vein, but preferred the hermeneutics, the exegesis, which is also suitable for a scientific approach. Harl now notes a significant difference between the patristic studies in France at the time of Daniélou, De Lubac, Marrou and our time, roughly since Jean Fontaine and her have formed their own teams of patristics. She gives a number of reasons for this, but explains mainly because of the different time and audience. In fact, she recalls having a large number of non-Christian students in 1970. Her group of research veered towards the interpretation of the texts, at the expense of theology. A large number of Jewish researchers came to be part of the group, which provided new insights and at the same time encouraged the other researchers to take into account and respect different points of view. In the last part of the interview, she talks about her philosophy and working method.