Patristics and Hermeneutics

  1. Lemma
  2. Patristika i hermeneutika
  3. Serbian
  4. Stevanovic, Aleksandra
  5. Key thinkers - Orthodox theological tradition and practice > Patristic studies
  6. 31-3-2017
  7. Jevremovic, Petar [Author]. Patristics in the Mirror of Hermeneutics
  8. Patristics in the Mirror of Hermeneutics - Belgrade: Otačnik, 2011.
    1. Saint Basil the Great
    2. Maximus the Confessor
  9. patristic tradition - Hermeneutics
    1. The book by Petar Jovanovic is dedicated to a plethora of prominent thinkers that have marked the age they lived in. The author draws connection between theological thought of early Christianity and hermeneutical thinking which aims at contemporaneity. Therefore, the idea is not to make historiography but to understand ourselves through the eyes of Holy Fathers. 

      The first part stems around the question of personality and morality in the context of early Christian worldview. The second one considers Saint Gregory of Nyssa, where the author mentions one of the most common metaphors of the Holy Father – “the man reflects in God and God reflects in man”, for whom personality is understood rather as relation. The next chapter elaborates on understanding the scripts of Macarius the Great. From that stance, for instance, neither asceticism nor rigidity can be found. What is present is celebration of life and its deepest values. The fourth chapter explains personology and ontology of Maximus the Confessor. From his point of view, the ontology of personality is the ontology of freedom, and the ontology of freedom is the one of love. The fifth one discusses the dynamics of personality in the worldview of Maximus the Confessor whose views cannot be reduced to dualistic stance since it is far more complex. As a sort of continuation, the next part focuses on the issue of psychic dynamics in terms of Maximus the Confessor and Gregory Palamas. The author draws connection between the notion of free will of Palamas and Maximus the Confessor. In the next chapter, Proclus and Maximus the Confessor, the author is interested in the question of metaphysics of Proclus and theology of Maximus the Confessor. Further on, life and work of Saint Isaac the Syrian, the symbol of monks’ life and eastern Christianity, is being discussed. The theme of the ninth and last chapter is a more general one – Christianity and Culture. The author considers the connection and premises of the two, finding mutual correlation.

      In addition, the book contains two contributions with the author’s elaborate comments. The first one is Saint Athanasius the Great, Against Idolatry, and the second Saint Basil the Great, On Holy Spirit.

      The book is important so as to track the relation of Holy Father’s thoughts to the present standpoint of Christianity. Since it is a combination of diverse fragments on patristics, it provides a good starting point for future searches. The author hence sees the return to Holy Fathers as the reconversion to words and logos. In that sense, the big secret of hermeneutics is that word is alive.