Enchantment and Creed in the Hymns of Ambrose of Milan

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Brian P. Dunkle, SJ
Oxford Early Christian Studies
  • London, England: 
    Oxford University Press
    , December
     2016.
     288 pages.
     $95.00.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9780198788225.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Alex Fogleman forthcoming.

Description

Enchantment and Creed in the Hymns of Ambrose of Milan offers the first critical overview of the hymns of Ambrose of Milan in the context of fourth-century doctrinal song and Ambrose's own catechetical preaching. Brian P. Dunkle, SJ, argues that these settings inform the interpretation of Ambrose's hymnodic project. The hymns employ sophisticated poetic techniques to foster a pro-Nicene sensitivity in the bishop's embattled congregation. After a summary presentation of early Christian hymnody, with special attention to Ambrose's Latin predecessors, Dunkle describes the mystagogicalfunction of fourth-century songs. He examines Ambrose's sermons, especially his catechetical and mystagogical works, for preached parallels to this hymnodic effort. Close reading of Ambrose's hymnodic corpus constitutes the bulk of the study. Dunkle corroborates his findings through a treatment ofearly Ambrosian imitations, especially the poetry of Prudentius. These early readers amplify the hymnodic features that Dunkle identifies as "enchanting," that is, enlightening the "eyes of faith."

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Brian P. Dunkle, SJ, is Assistant Professor of Historical Theology at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.

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