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Title: Gregory the Great : exegesis and audience
Author: McClure, Judith
ISNI:       0000 0001 3623 1394
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1979
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Gregory preached seven series of homilies on books, or groups of books, of the Old Testament: on Job, Ezechiel, the Heptateuch, the Prophets, the Books of Kings, Proverbs, and the Song of Songs. The homilies on Job survive in full in his own revision. The homilies on Ezechiel were never completed; he edited the twenty-two sermons preached, twelve on Ezechiel I:1 - IV:3, and ten on Ezechiel XL, and they survive in the two books of his revision of 601. The remaining series of Old Testament homilies, for the most part, are not extant, but his comments on the first eight verses of the Song of Songs, and on the first sixteen chapters of the first Book of Kings (I Samuel), survive in a recension by Claudius, Abbot of Classis. All of these homilies, with the exception of those on Ezechiel, were preached to the monks of St. Andrew's, Gregory's own foundation, between 579 and 585, when he was apocrisiarius in Constantinople, and 585 and 590, when he was monk and deacon in Rome. The series of Old Testament homilies was revived in 593, again at the request of the St. Andrew's monks, but the pressure of events prevented the completion of the homilies on Ezechiel. Gregory's audience for his monastic homilies was a small, ascetic circle, and most of its members were well know to him; this was a decisive influence on the contents and methods of his exegesis. The Pastoral Rule is best seen as the crystallization of his efforts as exegete around the theme of the episcopal office. As pope he preached a series of Gospel homilies during the liturgy, at first with enthusiasm; but they were abandoned early in 593. Out of the anecdotes from his monastic experience contained in them grew the Dialogues, written at the request of his monks for the purpose of spiritual encouragement.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Fathers of the church