It can be difficult to keep track of the steady flow of new titles in patristics and related fields. Below are just a few of the new, recent, or forthcoming editions, translations, monographs, and collected studies that have come to our attention in the last few years. The list is not intended to be exhaustive, but we hope that it will prove useful to students and readers interested in early Christianity and patristics. Look for similar, supplementary reviews in the near future.
Tobias Thum and José Declerck, eds. Johannes von Damaskos, Die Schriften, Band 8: Sacra (spuria), vols. 4-8 (De rerum humanarum natura et statu), Patristische Texte und Studien 74-78 (Berlin: De Gruyter 2018-2019).
Among the works historically attributed to St John of Damascus is a florilegium known as the Sacra (Parallela). De Gruyter, in its monumental series of critical editions (Patristische Texte und Studien), brings us the second book of the Sacra parallela, namely the section On Man, in the eighth volume - in multiple fascicles - of the complete works (Die Schriften) of St John Damascene.
In 1929, a breakthrough discovery was made in Medinet Madi (Egypt) of the oldest original writings of the Manichean religion (hitherto unavailable) in Coptic translation. The Book of [Manichaean] “Psalms” in the Chester Beatty Library (Dublin), in papyrus, is one of seven codices found at that site. Following important restoration work, this is the first edition of Part I, 1: 122 pages of Coptic text accompanied by a German translation. The poetically demanding songs offer an original insight into the Manichaean religion. In addition to a group of psalms that preserved the oldest sun hymns of Manichaeism, some psalms in 22 stanzas reflect the content of the living gospel of the founder of the religion, Mani.
Late in his life, in the mid-third century, Origen wrote a Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, the first known commentary ever written on this Gospel. Eight of the original twenty-five books have been preserved in the original Greek language, supplemented by a Latin translation made in the sixth century and numerous fragments. This new translation is the first complete English translation of the entirety of the Greek and Latin source material.
The third installment of this broad anthology of early Christian texts from ca. 100 to ca. 650. This volume, concerned with early Christian reflection on Christ as God incarnate from the first century to ca. 450, includes not only Greek and Latin but also Syriac and Coptic texts.
The fourth installment of this broad anthology, focusing on early Christian reflection on Christ as God incarnate from ca. 450 to the eighth century.
Part of the DOML, a relatively recent series from Harvard UP that seeks to move beyond the literary period covered by the Loeb Classical Library, this volume presents the Greek text, with facing English translation, of seven sermons delivered by Sophronios of Jerusalem from 634–638, during his short tenure as Patriarch, at the end of his life and as the Holy City was conquered by Islamic forces.
In this hagiographical work, Michael the Monk describes a golden age at Stoudios as well as the often antagonistic encounters between imperial rulers and the monastery’s influential abbot, St Theodore (759–826). This new English translation contains the Encyclical Letter of Naukratios, written in 826 by Theodore’s successor, as well as the Translation and Burial, which contains brief biographies of Theodore and his brother, along with an eyewitness account of their reburial at Stoudios.
Gennadios Scholarios, the first Patriarch of Constantinople after the fall of the city in 1453, is known to scholars and historians primarily as a theological writer. But Scholarios was also a pastor who authored many works designed to edify and inspire the faithful. This new translation, with a Foreword by Director of the Pappas Patristic Institute, Fr Maximos Constas, constitutes the largest collection of works by Scholarios available in English, bringing together a number of texts on sin and repentance, faith, prayer, fasting, almsgiving, the sacraments, and the life of holiness and virtue.
This forthcoming volume presents English translations of four complete madrāšē cycles of St Ephrem: On the Fast, On the Unleavened Bread, On the Crucifixion, and On the Resurrection.
See, also, the newest translations from
the CUA Fathers of the Church series,
the SVS Popular Patristics series, and
Examines the Acta of ancient church councils as the objects of textual practices, in their editorial shaping, and in their material conditions. It traces the processes of their production, starting from the recording of spoken interventions during a meeting, to the preparation of minutes of individual sessions, to their collection into larger units, their storage and the earliest attempts at their dissemination.
This critically-acclaimed study examines the role that invocations of and rival construals of Nicaea (both the council and its creed) played in the major councils of the mid-fifth century, especially given the problematic ‘sufficiency’ of Nicaea and its creed.
Patristics and Philosophy
The first ever attempt at an overarching analysis of “patristic philosophy,” beginning with what Zachhuber describes as the first distinctively Christian theory of being, followed by its radical modification in the Cappadocians, and following from there to the debates surrounding the Council of Chalcedon up to the eighth century. See a review of this book here.
This is the first book in English to give a synoptic account of the slow appropriation of Aristotelian thought in the Christian world from the second to the sixth century. Concentrating on the themes of creation, the soul, the Trinity, and Christology, it makes full use of modern scholarship on the Peripatetic tradition after Aristotle, explaining the significance of Neoplatonism as a mediator of Aristotelian logic. While stressing the fidelity of Christian thinkers to biblical presuppositions, it also describes their attempts to overcome the pagan objections to biblical teachings by a consistent use of Aristotelian principles. See a review here.
Treating a large number of Church Fathers and philosophical themes, this edited volume examines the various ways in which Christian intellectuals engaged with Platonism both as a pagan competitor and as a source of philosophical material useful to the Christian faith.
These thirty essays and studies offer fresh vistas on Origen’s theology as well as the ways in which his legacy was adopted, transformed, and transmitted from the fourth century through the Reformation and into modernity. Features some of the most prominent scholars in the study of Origen and related topics.
Origen / Exegesis
This book argues that Origen thought about prophecy using the same threefold structure that he applied to the exegesis of Scripture, seeing in it somatic (future-telling), psychic (moral), and pneumatic (mystical revelatory) senses. Hall explores Origen’s understanding of prophecy alongside Greek pagan, Jewish, and Christian thinking about prophecy, divination, time, human nature, autonomy and freedom, allegory and metaphor, and the role of the divine in the order and structure of the cosmos.
Origen / Divine Simplicity
For centuries, Christian theology affirmed God as simple (haplous) and tri-hypostatic. Through a detailed historical exploration of Irenaeus, sources from the Monarchian controversy, and especially Origen’s oeuvre, Ip examines the key contributions to this basic Christian question arising in ante-Nicene theology.
Origen / Augustine
How, and why, did ancient Christian authors elaborate a theology of the Holy Spirit? This study examines the theology of Origen and Augustine, in particular, in order to show how traditional problems such as subordinationism and essentialism can be re-framed through an examination of these authors’ exegesis of the Gospel of John.
Eusebius / Canon
Eusebius of Caesarea organized the textual relationships among the four Gospels in a system known as the Eusebian apparatus. This books examines how his famous canon tables, sectioning, and tables of contents helped transform the reading and interpretation of the Gospels in the late ancient world.
Tatian / Diatesseron
Covering the widest array of manuscript evidence to date, this book seeks to uncover the composition and reception history behind the lost text of the second-century Diatesseron (or Gospel Harmony). In it, Barker reconstructs the compositional and editorial practices by which Tatian wrote his Gospel, sorting every extant witness according to its narrative sequence and unveiling the macrostructure of Tatian's Gospel.
Clement’s Stromateis have been ignored in the study of Greco-Roman miscellanies. This book interrogates the notion of Clement's ‘Christian difference’ by comparing his work with the classic works of Plutarch, Pliny, Gellius, and Athenaeus. It argues that Clement shaped his miscellanies as an instrument for encountering the hidden God in a hidden way, while marvelling at the variegated beauty of divine work refracted through the variegated beauty of his own textuality.
The first English monograph on this seminal work of Christian anthropology, notable for its influence on St Maximos the Confessor.
Jerome / Exegesis
In the year 386, St Jerome commented on four Pauline epistles: Galatians, Ephesians, Titus, Philemon, after recently having relocated to Bethlehem from Rome. This monograph provides the first book-length treatment of Jerome’s opus Paulinum in any language. Cain analyzes the commentaries’ philological method, engagement with Greek exegetical sources, and theological use of the person and thought of Paul.
Engaging the imposing topic of Augustine on the will, Komline argues that Augustine's view is “theologically differentiated,” comprising four distinct types of human will, corresponding to four different theological scenarios, in which Augustine’s innovation consists in distinguishing these types with a detail and clarity unseen in any thinker before him.
Augustine / Cassian / Gregory the Great / Medieval Reception
The idea of inwardness changes over time. So too does the idea of the self in relation to others. This books examines the thought of early Latin sources like Augustine, Cassian, Gregory the Great, and the Desert Fathers and its impact on medieval authors such as Hugh of Saint-Victor, Abelard, and Heloise.
This book reassesses the idea that Chrysostom was at odds with the congregations to which he preached (and thus a source for understanding ‘popular Christianity’). He examines the popularity of Chrysostom as a homilist in a liturgical setting where his late-antique audience was willing to listen to and learn from his stern language.
Rhetoric / Cappadocians / Chrysostom
Ludlow here explore the metaphor, analogy, or guiding concept of art (painting and sculpture, but also medicine and music) in the context of the formation of the soul to explore ‘authorship as craft’ (techne). It focuses on Greek writers, especially the Cappadocians and Chrysostom, all of whom were trained in rhetoric. It offers a detailed examination of their use of two particular literary techniques – ekphrasis and prosōpopoeia – to make theological arguments and evoke a response from their readership.
Comprised of forty unique studies, including two by Director of the Pappas Patristic Institute, Fr Maximos Constas (on Dionysios and the New Testament and on Dionysios and Maximos the Confessor), this handbook covers nearly all aspects of the Dionysian corpus, from its antecedents in ancient Greek philosophy to its reception in the Byzantine period, the Latin West, and modernity.
Maximos the Confessor / Aquinas
Focusing on Maximos and Aquinas as representatives of East and West, this work describes the development of Greek and Latin conceptions of temptation and of the work of Christ to heal and restore humankind in the context of that temptation. demonstrates the centrality of Christ’s exemplarity in the Greek account and the centrality of Christ’s moral perfections in the Latin account. Heidgerken argues that the Greek tradition of Maximus places distinct limits on the ability of human emotionality (even that of Christ) to be perfected in this life, whereas Thomas’s approach allows Christ to completely embody a perfected form of human emotionality in his here below.
Maximos the Confessor
In this study, Luke Steven argues that throughout his oeuvre the Confessor positions the imitation of God as the key to knowledge, evincing a persistent epistemology that characterizes his earlier ascetic and spiritual works and prominently defines his later dogmatic christological method.
Latin Fathers / Pagan Religion
The late ancient world witnessed the political and social rise of Christianity in the empire and city of Rome. This book traces changing attitudes toward paganism from persecutions to the triumph of Christianity in the 380s. It demonstrates how Latin writers such as Lactantius, Firmicus Maternus, Ambrosiaster, and Ambrose offered substantive critiques of traditional religion shaped to their political circumstances and to the preoccupations of contemporary polytheism.
Aquinas / Medieval Reception
Aquinas’s reliance on the Church Fathers, as well as Byzantine theological sources more generally, has received significant attention in recent years. This collection of papers seeks to advance our understanding of this important field of study through historical and systematic analysis of Thomas’s use of (and relationship to) patristic authors like Jerome, Augustine, Isidore, John Damascene, Theophylact, and others.
Patristics, Systematic and Historical Theology
Loudovikos seeks in this study to offer an alternative, patristic anthropology (opposed to the nihilst and personalist ‘will to power’) that can serve as a source for the Western conception of ‘selfhood.’
A unique examination of the patristic roots of modern Russian Sophiology, this book offers a detailed exploration of the theme of wisdom in patristic,