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God Knows There's NeedChristian Responses to Poverty$
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Susan R. Holman

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195383621

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383621.001.0001

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From Text to Life

From Text to Life

Crossing the Gap

(p.71) 4 From Text to Life
God Knows There's Need

Susan R. Holman

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores how hermeneutical bias influences the application of historical texts on social action. It centers on three stories about the transmission of patristic social texts since the Protestant Reformation: (1) uses of Gregory of Nazianzus's sermon on the poor by Oecolampadius, Zwingli, Calvin, and Luther, and their influence on the English Reformation; (2) J. P. Migne's and other 19th-century French patristic texts and translations as they influenced American Presbyterian railroad magnate Stephen Colwell, a Princeton trustee; and (3) the role of Anglican priest Blomfield Jackson and the “Oxford Movement” in presenting Basil of Caesarea's social action to English-speaking Protestants through the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers series. The chapter ends by exploring the role of terminology, exegesis, social power structures, and views of human rights on these examples of applying such text to contemporary issues of poverty and need.

Keywords:   hermeneutics, patristic exegesis, Gregory of Nazianzus, Zwingli, Calvin, Luther, J. P. Migne, Oxford Movement, Basil of Caesarea, human rights

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