Date d'ajout : samedi 05 février 2011
par Shawn WJ. Keough
Shawn WJ. Keough Faculty of Theology University of St. Michael's College
Toronto Journal of Theology 2008
This exciting book contains the acts of the second international colloquium organized by New Europe College in Bucharest, in colloboration with the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft. The theme of the conference, The Fathers of the Church in Today's World, prompted a series of stimulating and, in some cases, groundbreaking essays by scholars from across Europe and North America. Unfortunately, space restrictions do not permit a discussion of each article. However, I will highlight the strengths of some of the very best contributions to this fine collection.
The volume is organized into three parts. Part 1, "Actualité des Pères," includes the following contributions: Andrei Plesu, "Reflexions sur l'actualité et l'inactualité des Pères" (pp. 1-18); Lorenzo Perrone, "L'étude des Pères dans l'université : pour une approche européenne" (pp. 19-36); Charles Kannengiesser, "Un avenir pour l'herméneutique patristique" (pp. 37-50); Monique Alexandre, "La redécouverte d'Origène au XXe siècle" (pp. 51-94); Viorel Samuel Clintoc, Jr. and Marius David Cruceru, "Augustine Again ?" (pp. 95-118); Jean·Robert Armogathe, "L'actualité de la polémique antipaïenne des apologistes" (pp. 119-134). Here the contributions from Perrone, Kannengiesser and Alexandre clearly stand out. Alexandre provides the best overview and analysis of the renewal of scholarly study of Origen in the twentieth century currently available. Perrone's contribution highlights the tensions and opportunities facing university departments throughout the Western world regarding the place of studies that used to be the sole province of ecclesiastical institutions. Kannengiesser's essay begins by asking the question, "What significance does the exegesis of the Fathers have at the turn of the millennium?" In his response, he first reviews the "two hermeneutical crises" of Christianity, that of the third century answered by Origen, and that of the twelfth century answered by Abelard. Kannengiesser then argues that "our age is plunged into the third great hermeneutical crisis of Christianity" (p. 46), a crisis which must be answered by a creative response shaped by the spirit of the Fathers rather than by a slavish imitation of them.
Part 2, "Le monde d'aujourd'hui et les Pères: modèles, questions et réponses," is composed of the following : Martine Dulaey, "Évangile de Jean et iconographie: la pédagogie des Pères" (pp. 137-164); Enrico Norelli, "Faut-il s'engager dans ce monde ? Des réponses divergentes dans le premier christianisme" (pp. 165-182); Jean-Noël Guinot, "Rétablir l'unité après la déchirure : Cyrille d'Alexandrie et Théodoret de Cyr, des modèles pour le dialogue entre les Églises aujourd'hui ?" (pp. 183-208); Marco Rizzi, "Patristics and Political Theology in the 20th Century" (pp. 209-222); Petre Guran, "The Fathers' Political Eschatology-out of Fashion?" (pp. 223-240); Attila Jakab, "Prières des Pères ? prières à nous" (pp. 241-256). Here of particular interest is the essay by Guinot, who takes up what is arguably one of the most confused theological conflicts of early Christianity and draws from it insights that have remarkable force and value for contemporary ecumenical dialogue.
The following contributions make up Part 3, "Théologie et patristique au XXe siècle":
Davide Zordan, "Le cas français et Louis Bouyer" (pp. 259-280); Cristian Badilita, "Dumitru Staniloae; ses affinités et ses idiosyncrasies patristiques" (pp. 281-310); Lucian Turcescu, "'Person' versus 'Individual' and Other Modern Misreadings of the Fathers" (pp. 311-326); Bogdan Tàtaru-Cazaban, "Contemplation et martyre. La lecture des Pères dans le mouvement du Buisson Ardent de Bucarest et chez Nicolas Steinhardt" (pp. 327338). Here the. contributions of Badilita and Turcescu stand out. Badilita provides a detailed and comprehensive overview of the great Romanian Orthodox theologian of the twentieth century, Dumitru Staniloae, whose theological legacy includes 44 authored books, 33 volumes of translations (over 100 titles, almost ail from the Fathers), and over 750 articles. The significance and legacy of Staniloae remains to be assessed, although Badilita's article provides a fine overview and advancement of our understanding of this great theologian. Thrcescu's article is here reprinted from Modern Theology 18, later reprinted as Re-Thinking Gregory of Nyssa, edited by S. Coakley (Oxford: BlackweH, 2003). It provides an invaluable analysis and corrective to the theology of John Zizioulas, who is demonstrated by Turcescu to have foisted his own existentialist concerns upon the theology of the Cappadocian fathers, rather than to have understood the Cappadocians on their own terms.
This is an excellent collection of essays, all of which deserve more thorough discussion than is possible here. They are recommended to ail those interested in the diverse ways in which the study of early Christianity impacts the contemporary world.