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Mind, Text, and Commentary

Stefaniw, Blossom

Mind, Text, and Commentary

Noetic Exegesis in Origen of Alexandria, Didymus the Blind, and Evagrius Ponticus

Series: Early Christianity in the Context of Antiquity - Volume 6

Year of Publication: 2010

Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2010. 417 pp.
ISBN 978-3-631-60267-6 hardback  (Hardcover)
ISBN 978-3-653-00187-7 (eBook)

Weight: 0.730 kg, 1.609 lbs

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Book synopsis

Scholarship on early Christian exegesis is full of puzzlement at the commentator’s apparent lack of concern for the literal or historical meaning of the text, usually explained as the result of an illegitimate allegorical method. This study comes to grips with the particularities of this type of interpretation by using tools from ethnography and literary criticism. By analysing the commentator’s interpretive assumptions and the framework of significances within which the commentaries were produced and read, the author is able to solve a chronic problem in the study of early Christian exegesis. Further, she articulates the social context of the performance of noetic exegesis and its significance for monastic teachers, philosophers, and their audiences.


Contents: Early Christian exegesis – Late antique religion – Neoplatonism and Christianity – Philosophical education – Monasticism and philosophy – Commentary as the basis for curricula – Origen of Alexandria, Didymus the Blind, and Evagrius Ponticus – Noetic exegesis.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The Author: Blossom Stefaniw grew up in both the United States and Papua New Guinea, completing her undergraduate studies in 1999. After taking a Masters of Theology at the University of Wales, she completed her Ph.D. in Religious Studies at the University of Erfurt (Germany). She is currently pursuing postdoctoral research.


Early Christianity in the Context of Antiquity. Vol. 6
Edited by David Brakke, Anders-Christian Jacobsen and Jörg Ulrich