O. Pasquato

O. Pasquato V. School. This collective name is given to a group of exegetes and theologians, some of great importance Diodore of Tarsus, Theodore of Mopsuestia, John Chrysostom, Theodoret, active in Antioch in the last decades of the 4th c. and first decades of the 5th. The term school does not indicate a unified scholastic institution with an organized program of study supported by the local bishop, like the school of Alexandria; it was, rather, a number of masters teaching in a personal capacity but sharing, both within their own circle and with culturally qualified exponents in the larger setting, the same basic approach to exegesis and theology. Lucian of Antioch second half 3rd c., whose literalist approach clashed with Alexandrian allegorism, is often considered the founder of the exegetical school, but the little we know of him does not justify this supposition. Indeed, the remote assumptions of the Antiochene school should be seen in the evident tendency of Asiatic learning both to a literalist exegesis, though not exclusively so, and to the full evaluation of the human component in Christ, along with the divine. In the encounter between Asiatic and Alexandrian cultures, so different in these respects, the greatest point of friction was at Antioch, as the episodes of Paul of Samosata and Lucian of Antioch in the second half of the 3rd c. demonstrate: in the conflict the Antiochene tendencies hardened into an antiAlexandrian polemical stance. Eustathius of Antioch represents this well at the beginning of the 4th c., both by his exegetical polemic against Origen, and in his anti-Arian = anti-Alexandrian approach to Christology, insisting on the integrity of the human nature assumed by the Logos, as professed by Arius. Eustathius represents the traitd’union between Asiatic culture and the Antiochene school, but we cannot speak of a true and proper Antiochene school until toward the end of the 4th c., with Diodore. Literalists in exegesis, the Antiochenes considered Alexandrian exegesis excessive and arbitrary; while not denying that some OT passages should be interpreted allegorically as typoi and prophecies of Christ and of the church, they strictly limited their number and rejected the typically Alexandrian hermeneutical procedures symbology of numbers, animals, plants etc., etymology of Hebrew names, real and presumed incoherences in the literal sense so prominent in allegorical exegesis. Theodore, Diodore, and also Chrysostom were all rigid literalists; Theodoret, on the other hand, gave more room to a typological reading of the OT. Theologically, the Antiochenes shared the anti-Arian trinitarian doctrine of Nicaea, as elaborated by Basil of Caesarea, which had spread throughout the East by the late 4th c. Their Christology, however, displayed typical traits, once again opposed to that of Alexandria. The latter traditionally emphasized the divinity of the Logos, relegating his humanity to a subordinate position; the Antiochenes, rather, in polemic with Arians and Apollinarists, exalted his humanity so high as to consider it another subject alongside the Logos, with the risk of compromising Christ’s unity. Theodore of Mopsuestia was aware of this danger, but his repeated declarations of Christ’s indivisibility, assured by the coming together of the two natures in a single prosopon did not satisfy the Alexandrians, who in turn seemed to the Antiochenes to be heirs to the errors of Apollinaris. Hence the clash between Nestorius and Cyril of Alexandria and all that followed from it. It revealed the weakness of the pure Antiochene position that of Nestorius and the early Theodoret; but even when the Antiochenes, out of conviction or necessity, abandoned it and fell back on the more moderate position of Chalcedon, they found themselves in the minority in the larger Syrian world, by now dominated by the monophysites, who carried Alexandrian Christology to its extreme consequences. The school declined, with no really significant representatives after Theodoret first half 5th c.: its decline was also that of Greek culture in the face of reviving autochthonous Syrian forces. In the field of exegesis, the encounter with the Alexandrians was less dramatic and less unfavorable. It is true that allegorical exegesis, esp. of the OT, continued to be widely practiced; but the literalist tendency was no less widely practiced and in particular made its influence felt on allegorical exegesis, whose representatives, as a rule, learned to make more moderate use of their favorite hermeneutical tool. A typical example of the attitude that sought to blend the claims of the letter and those of allegory was Cyril of Alexandria himself, the great enemy of the Antiochenes. A. Vaccari, La teoria esegetica antiochena: Biblica 15 1934 93- 101; J. Guillet, Les exgesès d’Alexandrie et d’Antioche. Conflit ou malentendu?: RSR 34 1947 257-302; F.A. Seisdedos, La teoría antioquena: Estudios Biblicos 11 1952 31-67; P. Ternant, La theoria d’Antioche dans le cadre des sens de l’Ecriture: Biblica 34 1953 135-158, 354-383, 456-486; A.J. Festugière, Antioche païenne et chrtienne, Paris 1959; R.A. Greer, Theodore of Mopsuestia: Exegete and Theologian, London 1961; A. Grillmeier, Christ in Christian Tradition, London 1965, 243-270; 329-452; G.W. Ashby, Theodoret of Cyrrus as Exegete of the Old Testament, Grahamstone 1972; C. Schäublin, Untersuchungen zu Methode und Herkunft der antiochenischen Exegese, Bonn 1974; B. de Margerie, Introduction à l’histoire de l’exgese. I: Les Pres grecs et orientaux, Paris 1980, It. tr. Rome 1990, Eng. tr. Petersham, MA 1991; M. Simonetti, Note sull’esegesi veterotestamentaria di Teodoro di Mopsuestia: VetChr 14 1977 69-102; D.S. Wallace-Hadrill, Christian Antioch: A Study of Early Christian Thought in the East, Cambridge 1982; G.W. Ashby, The Hermeneutic Approach of Theodoret of Cyrrus to the Old Testament: SP 15, Berlin 1984, 131-135; M. Simonetti, Interpretazione delle rubriche e destinazione dei Salmi nei Commentarii in Psalmos di Diodoro: ASE 2 1985 79-92; Id., Lettera eo Allegoria. Un contributo alla storia dell’esegesi patristica, Rome 1985, 156-201; Id., La tecnica esegetica di Teodoreto nel Commento ai Salmi: VetChr 23 1986 81-116; L. Fatica, I commentari a Giovanni di Teodoro di Mopsuestia e di Cirillo d’Alessandria: confronto tra metodi esegetici e teologici, Rome 1988; S. Zincone, Studi sulla visione dell’uomo in ambito antiocheno. Diodoro, Crisostomo, Teodoro, Teodoreto, L’Aquila 1988; J.N. Guinot, La typologie comme technique hermneutique: Figures de l’Ancien Testament chez les Pères, Cahiers de Biblia Patristica 2, Strasbourg 1989; M. Simonetti ed., Origene, Eustazio, Gregorio di Nissa. La maga di Endor, Florence 1989; D. Zaharopoulos, Theodore of Mopsuestia on the Bible: A Study on his Old Testament Exegesis, New York 1989; J.N. Guinot, L’exgèse de Thodoret de Cyr, Paris 1995; A. Viciano, Das formale Verfahren der antiochenischen Schriftauslegung. Ein Forschungsüberblick, in G. Schöllgen – C. Scholten, Stimuli. Exegese und ihre Hermeneutik im Antike und Christentum. Festschr. f. Ernst Dassmann, Münster 1996.erminio pasquato on Twitter: “#ArtePerLArte O.Redon il simbolismo … travelquaz

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