Episode 3: Getting Medieval on the Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories
Are you still impressed with the way in which a certain Canadian professor of psychology unlocks the psychological significance of the Biblical stories? Just wait ‘til you learn about Gregory the Great’s Moralia in Job!
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- Gregory the Great, Moralia in Job, trans. John Henry Parker, 3 vols. (London: J.G.F. and J. Rivington, 1844)
- Epistle to Bishop Leander, wherein Gregory explains his method of exposition
- First Volume, Second Part, Book VIII, chap. vi.8-11: “The life of man upon earth is a warfare” (Job 7:1). Note: I was right. Gregory distinguishes between “militia” (warfare) and “tentatio” (trial). Good to know my Latin is up to snuff!
- Job (Book of)
- Philo of Alexandria (ca. 25 B.C.-ca. A.D. 50)
- John Cassian (ca. A.D. 360-435)
- Gregory the Great (ca. A.D. 540-604, pope 590-604)
- Bede (A.D. 672/673-735)
How to remember the four senses of Scripture
- “Littera gesta docet, quod credas allegoria, moralia quod agas, quo tendas anagogia.”
- “The literal sense teaches what happened, the allegorical sense what you should believe, the moral sense what you should do, and the anagogical sense where you are going.”
Cassian’s Four Senses of “Jerusalem”
- Historically: the city of the Jews
- Allegorically: the Church of Christ
- Tropologically or morally: the soul of man
- Anagogically: the heavenly city of God
- London, British Library, Harley 3244, fols. 27v-28: “Militia est vita hominis super terram.”
- On this manuscript, see Michael Evans, “An Illustrated Fragment of Peraldus’s Summa of Vice: Harleian MS 3244,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 45 (1982): 14-68.
- Henri de Lubac, Medieval Exegesis. Vol 1: The Four Senses of Scripture, trans. Mark Sebanc (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998)
- Stephen Moore and Yvonne Sherwood, The Invention of the Biblical Scholar: A Critical Manifesto (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2011)