Types, metaphors and symbols for baptism in the catechetical, artistic and liturgical genres of the early Church : a literary-aesthetic approach to the study of typology in early Christian hermeneutics.
In the historico-critical paradigm typology was defined in terms of prefiguration and
identified with corresponding events in `salvation history. ' In contrast, Frances Young
identifies typology as a hermeneutic which has its roots in the literary structure of texts.
The object of this thesis is to explore the phenomenon of typology within the
hermeneutics of the early Church and to assess typology's contribution to the formation of
Christian identity and culture. The thesis proposes an integrated approach to the study of
type, metaphor and symbol across literary and aesthetic genres, and within a limited
context, i. e., Christian initiation. The introduction to the thesis surveys typology within
the historical and literary paradigms. Section one considers varied uses of typology in the
catechetical homilies of the Fathers. Section two looks at typology in the artistic
programmes of some early Christian baptisteries. Section three surveys uses of typology
in some prayers of early baptismal liturgies. By redefining typology in terms of mimesis,
multi-valence and multi-culturalism we are able to demonstrate the way in which early
Christians forged imaginative links between their own worshipping community and the
world of Scripture, through typology.