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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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November 2019
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Liber creaturae und sacra scriptura. Zur Bedeutung der Naturkunde für die Bibelexegese der lateinischen Kirchenväter

Heyden, Katharina


This article gives an insight into the theoretical approach to and the practical application of natural knowledge by Latin Christians in Late Antiquity. Based on the only explicit reference of a church father to the Physiologus, by Rufin of Aquileia, and on theoretical considerations in Augustine’s De doctrina christiana and De civitate dei, the two basic functions of natural history - exegesis and apologetics - are presented in their respective historical and conceptual contexts. In a second part, concrete applications of natural knowledge in various Latin Christian authors, for whom the Physiologus may have served as a kind of handbook, are examined. These examples illustrate the increasing argumentative significance of nature for Latin Christians, and the simultaneous diversity in concrete implementation. The paper thus forms the bridge from the original Hellenistic context of the Physiologus to its reception in the Latin cultural area - and thus also to the Bernese Physiologus.

Citation Information

Katharina Heyden (2019). Liber creaturae und sacra scriptura. Zur Bedeutung der Naturkunde für die Bibelexegese der lateinischen Kirchenväter. In Zbyněk Kindschi Garský, Rainer Hirsch-Luipold (Eds.), Christus in natura: Quellen, Hermeneutik und Rezeption des Physiologus (pp. 159–174). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110494143-013

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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