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Entering "This Sublime And Blessed Amphitheatre": Contemplation Of Nature And Interpretation Of The Bible In The Patristic Period

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Chapter Summary

In his Homilies on the Hexaemeron, Basil of Caesarea summons his congregation to enter the grand stadium or amphitheatre (theatron) of creation and to explore with him there the profundities of nature. This chapter focuses on four concurrent themes that elucidate that interrelation in some representative early Christian thinkers. (1) The epistemic, interpretive, and ascetical conditions of reading Scripture and nature in the mode of spiritual contemplation (theôria). (2) The articulation of the analogy of the ?two books??Bible and creation?in patristic hermeneutics. (3) The mutual insinuation of the logoi of cosmos and Scripture in eliciting a common metanarrative of creation and redemption. (4) The assumption of natural-philosophical issues and considerations into the essentially contemplative reading of scriptural creation texts. Moral and allegorical readings of the phenomena of creation appear in a variety of early Christian sources.

Keywords: amphitheatre; Basil; Bible; Caesarea; early Christian sources



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