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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book and its chapters. The book has its origins in several sessions on Medieval Exegesis held at the International Medieval Conference in Leeds in 2004 and 2006. In these sessions, the focus was on two related themes. One was the way in which from the beginning of the Christian era exegesis and biblical commentary were often the field where political, philosophical and theological matters were discussed. The second theme concerns hermeneutical questions underlying the exegetical enterprise, as these were reflected upon by medieval authors: how did authors harmonize the literal meaning of Scripture with its imputed meaning, which was often not clear at the level of the surface? What was the relation between the literal and the spiritual meaning? These two themes cannot really be separated, because the discussions about the literal sense often betray a theological concern.

Keywords: biblical commentary; Christian era exegesis; hermeneutical questions; international medieval conference; medieval exegesis; scripture



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