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Extra Seriem Fladerer

Ludwig Fladerer, Augustinus als Exeget. Zu seinen Kommentaren des Galaterbriefes und der Genesis. – Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 2010.
This volume provides a contribution to our understanding of Augustine’s exegetical techniques in his three commentaries on the biblical account of the Creation. The focus of the investigation is a philological one. The first section sets Augustine´s methods of interpretation in the historical context of contemporary Christian commentary. Since there are no important surviving Latin commentaries on the book of Genesis from the time of Augustine, the first step is a comparative analysis of extant commentaries of the Galatians (by Marius Victorinus, Jerome, Ambrosiaster, Augustine) in order to discern, measure und evaluate differences and similarities in interpretation. These interconnections cast light on Augustine’s methods of commenting on sacred texts. The focus here is on the different ways in which the word of the Bible can be interwoven with the text of its commentator. These results serve as a useful guide to the main section of the book, which focuses on a careful consideration of grammatical issues in the commentaries on the account of the Creation, including various topics such as semantics, the correctness of language and rhetoric. By exploring these exegetical works it has become evident that the practical techniques are intimately connected with Augustine’s hermeneutics, later systematised in his De doctrina Christiana. Thus, his theory of signification is preceded in writings with practical aims. Augustine´s explanation of the Creation is so deeply influenced by his pastoral purpose that he often goes beyond the scope of the traditional form of commentary. The Holy Scripture presents a multiple system of signs, whose meaning can be enriched and increased by the faithful reader.