Thursday, July 16, 2009

Call for submissions - Patristics Carnival XXVI

Welcome to Patristic Carnival XXVI! I saw Phil's plaintive cry for someone to help and thought, "I'm such a lazy blogger and I could definitely host one", so Carnival XXVI will appear right here.

If you would like to host, let Phil know through the dedicated e-mail given below.

The guidelines remain the same as the Modest Proposal entry back in November, 2006 and the additions in August, 2007.

The last day of submission will be July 31 and the postings will be up in the week of August 3rd.

Submit either on the carnival site or via the dedicated e-mail (

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Getting into some Euripides

Next week I'm off doing an intensive, actually two (morning and afternoon). The morning course is advanced classical Greek, reading Euripides' Helen. It's the most difficult Greek I've ever worked with. Koine is fine, always fine. I've read a little classical stuff, but mainly prose, a little oratory. Drama is a whole new ball game. So, this week I'm working away trying to prepare notes and translations and the like.

The afternoon intensive is some work on reading NT papyri, which will be something new again. Looking forward to both, but it will be a jam-packed week.

Have begun working with Rico's Πόλις course, will write some thoughts on it a few weeks down the track. Just trying to ease back into my 'normal' language-study routine (how quickly they get rusty!).

Carnival is up

Patristics Carnival XXV is up. They are always worth reading, so do yourself a favour and go along for the goodies.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

MTh Progress

Well, yesterday I sat my third and final MTh exam on 4th Century Trinitarian theology. I still have a few more posts that I'd like to wrap up in my PTT series, but they may take a little while longer to come out. The exam was fairly good I think, it's hard to judge these things sometimes. The questions weren't quite the kind of questions where one thinks, "Yes! This is what I'm looking for", but they were reasonable and decent questions. Here's the 4 I answered:

- To what extent was the Arian controversy about reading the Bible as much as the being of God?
- How much do Augustine's Ep.11 and Quest.69 provide support against claims that his doctrine of God was effectively modalist?
- How might the Western tradition have been different if we only had Hilary of Poitiers' De Trinitate?
- "They indeed use also the word hypostasis; but they intend to put a difference, I know not what, between ousia and hypostasis: so that most of ourselves who treat these things in the Greek language are accustomed to say, μιαν οὐσιαν, τρεις ὐποστασεις, or in Latin, one essence, three substances." (Augustine of Hippo, De Trinitate, V.10). To what extent might such a comment actually mark a turning point between the development of Greek and Latin descriptions of God's Triune Nature?

I think my not-quite-joyousness at the questions was that I didn't feel the freedom to shine in terms of bringing enough of my knowledge to bear on them. Anyway, now I have to wait for the marker to do their work.

The next stage is a 30,000 word thesis, looking at Chrysostom's Homilies on John. I feel like all this 4th century reading has put me on solid foundations for coming to that, as I now have a much more nuanced historical context to read them against.