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Christus in natura

Quellen, Hermeneutik und Rezeption des Physiologus

[Christus in natura. Sources, Hermeneutics and Reception of the Physiologus]

Ed. by Kindschi Garský, Zbyněk / Hirsch-Luipold, Rainer

Funded by Schweizerischer Nationalfonds (SNF)

Series:Studies of the Bible and Its Reception (SBR) 11

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Publication Date:
November 2019
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Einführung in den Physiologus

Schneider, Horst


The Physiologus is a small book originally written in Greek in the 2nd or 3rd century CE. It focuses on animals, plants, stones and hybrid beings. The book is transmitted in 4 redactions and was, from the beginning, subject to constant revision and alteration. New texts were added, others were transformed. These texts had a great influence on medieval bestiaries and encyclopedias of nature. A typical chapter of this text begins with a statement of the “Physiologus”, who is obviously a synonym for an anonymous nature expert. His description of the physis of an animal, a plant, stone or hybrid, often related to a certain passage of the bible in the first part of the chapter, is followed in the second part by a symbolic Christian interpretation. The stories and descriptions recorded by the Physiologus are taken from many different sources, e. g. from ancient everyday life, books on nature (e. g. Pliny’s Natural history, Aelian’s Historia animalium) and oral traditions. Although some of the stories may seem strange to us, they should be taken seriously, because they are intended to show how, according to Paul, the divine spirit can be found in nature (Romans 1:20).

Citation Information

Horst Schneider (2019). Einführung in den Physiologus. In Zbyněk Kindschi Garský, Rainer Hirsch-Luipold (Eds.), Christus in natura: Quellen, Hermeneutik und Rezeption des Physiologus (pp. 5–14). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110494143-003

Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110494143

Online ISBN: 9783110494143

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston. BY-NC-ND 4.0 This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.

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