School of Theology and Seminary Graduate Papers/Theses

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Date of Award


Document Type

Graduate Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Theology


School of Theology and Seminary

First Advisor

Columba Stewart OSB

Subject Categories

Biblical Studies | Christianity | Comparative Methodologies and Theories | History of Christianity | Religion


In this paper I describe some of the characteristics of patristic biblical exegesis and ways in which these broke down in the modern era. I note ways in which postmodern biblical interpretation allows us to recapture some of the elements of patristic exegesis such as the multivalent meaning of texts, the community context of interpretation, and the importance of living the meaning of the text. Though postmodern interpretation opens some avenues back to the patristic period, the hermeneutic of suspicion toward authority, the history of interpretation and the text itself precludes our simply returning to the methods of patristic exegesis.


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