Letter & Spirit Vol. 7: The Bible and the Church Fathers: The Liturgical Context of Patristic Exegesis makes accessible to clergy, students, and laity the finest Catholic biblical scholarship.

This volume responds to the call of Pope Benedict XVI in his Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini for a thoughtful return to the Fathers of the Church and how they approached Sacred Scripture. This is not in any way to jettison historical-critical methods and the valuable insights that modern biblical scholarship has brought to light. It is simply to acknowledge what Pope Benedict calls for, a measured return to the interpretive methods employed by the Church Fathers as well as the theology that flowed from their exegetical labors. As he said, “The Church Fathers present a theology that still has great value today because at its heart is the study of sacred Scripture as a whole. Indeed, the Fathers are primarily and essentially commentators on sacred Scripture.”

This volume includes:

  • “Cures of the Soul and Correction of Heart: Pope Leo the Great on the Healing Power of Holy Week” by J. Mark Armitage
  • “Patristic Interpretation of Scripture within God’ s Story of Creation and Redemption” by William S. Kurz, S.J.
  • “Anamnesis and Allegory in Ambrose’ s De sacramentis and De mysteriis” by Christine E. Wood
  • “‘The Yoke of Servitude’: Christian Non-Observance of the Law’ s Cultic Precepts in Patristic Sources” by Michael Barber
  • “Scriptural Sacramental Signs: Augustine’s Answer to Faustus” by Matthew Levering
  • “Scripture, Worship, and Liturgy in the Thought of St. Basil the Great” by Stephen M. Hildebrand
  • “Patristic Exegesis and the Liturgy: Medieval Ressourcement and the Development of Baptism” by Owen M. Phelan
  • “Psalm 22 in Syriac Tradition” by Stephen D. Ryan, O.P.
  • “Interiority and Extroversion in Biblical Trinitarian Faith in Augustine’s De Trinitate”by Khaled Anatolios
  • “Patristic Biblical Hermeneutics in Joseph Ratzinger’s Jesus of Nazareth” by William M. Wright IV
  • “Vicarious Representation” by Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI, Jared Wicks, S.J., translator
  • “Liturgy: The Context of Patristic Exegesis” by Patrick McGoldrick


Letter & Spirit seeks to foster a deeper conversation about the Bible. This journal of biblical theology, published in collaboration with Scott Hahn and the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, takes a crucial step toward recovering the fundamental link between the literary and historical study of Scripture and its religious and spiritual meaning in the Church’ s liturgy and Tradition.

Published annually, the Letter & Spirit journal is essential reading for clergy, students, and laity.



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Letter & Spirit, Vol. 7: The Bible and the Church Fathers: The Liturgical Context of Patristic Exegesis