Verbum Vitae

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 1644-8561 / 2451-280X
Total articles ≅ 723
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Latest articles in this journal

Verbum Vitae, Volume 40, pp 467-500;

In biblical texts, repetition is very often seen by scholars as an indication of an addition or of different sources. In the Old Testament we find a group of speeches characterized by the double or triple use of the adverbial phrase ועתה within the same speech. The phenomenon of double ועתה appears in seventeen texts: Gen 44:18–34; 45:4b-13; Exod 3:7–10; Josh 22:2–5; Ruth 3:10–13; 1 Sam 24:18–22; 26:18–20; 2 Sam 2:5–7; 19:10–11; 1 Kgs 5:17–20 (cf. 2 Chr 2:2–9); 8:23–53 (cf. 2 Chr 6:14–42); 18:9–14; 1 Chr 29:10–19; 2 Chr 2:11–15; 28:9–11; Ezra 10:2–4; Dan 9:4–19. In four cases it has to do with a triple use of ועתה , namely in Josh 14:6–12; 1 Sam 25:24–31; 2 Sam 7:18–29 (cf. 1 Chr 17:16–27) and Ezra 9:6–15. This study analyses these texts and tries to answer the questions raised by the repetition of the particle ועתה : Why use the same locution twice? What are the common characteristics of these discourses? And what is the origin of this phenomenon? The first part of the research is dedicated to the presentation of the general characteristics of ועתה , while the second part concerns the persuasive character of these discourses. The third part consists in the analysis of the function of the double ועתה in the structure of the discourses, as compared with classical rhetoric. The fourth part identifies the context of the speeches with the double/triple ועתה . Finally, the fifth part is dedicated (1) to the importance of the argumentation introduced by the first ועתה in a specific discourse, as it is related to a request for forgiveness (deprecatio), and (2) to the origins of the use of the double ועתה as a rhetorical device.
Verbum Vitae, Volume 40, pp 575-579;

Recenzja książki: Adam Ryszard Sikora, Patmos – wyspa św. Jana. Miejsca na Patmos związane z Apostołem znane z tradycji spisanych i ustnych (Biblioteka Szkoły DABAR 3; Rzeszów: Bonus Liber 2022). Ss. 335. PLN 120. ISBN 978-83-66566-32-3
Verbum Vitae, Volume 40, pp 535-550;

The theological interpretation of liturgical texts and gestures presented by representatives of the German monastic school played an important role in the liturgy of the medieval era. Among its most important representatives was Rupert of Deutz OSB, who presented his views in Liber de divinis officiis. This article aims to show what the uniqueness of the Incarnation of the Son of God consists in according to Rupert of Deutz’s views, based on the example of the celebration of the Nativity. Particularly sig­nificant is his interpretation of Old Testament texts and images, and his reference of the Incarnation to the first day of creation. He presented his views not only based on liturgical customs but also according to the principles of medieval computistics.
Verbum Vitae, Volume 40, pp 375-385;

Modern critical reception characterizes patriarch Isaac as a particular character type: the schle­miel. This article provides a tour through the cumulative evidence for this comedic read, focusing on Genesis 27, the blessing of Jacob. It provides a revised narratological and literary context, arguing that Isaac’s fivefold questioning demonstrates not confusion, but awareness: he knows exactly which son is in front of him. The paper presents an alternative narratological and literary context for Isaac, framing his questions in terms of the editing process: a synchronic reading of Isaac’s acumen is corroborated by evidence from diachronic reading. The redaction history of the Isaac material in chapter 26 yields a number of points suggesting the dependence of the Abraham material on the Isaac narrative. A num­ber of features indicate a stronger, less subordinate Isaac figure based on the earlier tradition revealed by a complex transmission history than the image arising from the mainstream synchronic reading of chapter 27 seems to depict.
Verbum Vitae, Volume 40, pp 515-534;

This article focuses on the two epilogues of Qoheleth, namely 12:9–11 and 12:12–14 and is an attempt to unravel the relationship of the words of the sage with Torah, the latter featuring as miṣwōṯ in v. 13. It is often held that these epilogues were written by someone other than the author of the book at large, and that their function (especially that of the second one), is to highlight the importance of the Torah over and against the words of the wise. Such a position is hereby contested and a rereading of these epilogues is offered. Two specific questions are addressed: Are these epilogues, particularly the second one, meant to downplay the words of the wise in relation to Torah? Conversely, how do the images employed, namely those of the goad, the nails, and the shepherd, possibly constitute a subtle reference to the divine commandments given by God himself? An analysis of the structures of the two epilogues and of the concepts used – this being done especially through an intertextual reading – is carried out hand in hand with a careful translation of the most pertinent texts. Moreover, the similarity of salient concepts found in the epilogues to Pentateuchal and Prophetic texts that have a pertinent canonical position is highlighted, thereby bearing light on the conclusion of Qoheleth. Finally, certain rabbinical interpretations are employed to further unpack the meaning of the texts in question. This exercise leads the author to hold that a positive relationship between sapiential wisdom and Torah is made both in the final epilogue, where the commandments are mentioned, and also in the first epilogue.
Verbum Vitae, Volume 40, pp 551-573;

John Chrysostom (349–407) provides the most comprehensive commentary on the Pauline epistles from the patristic era. During his priestly mission in Antioch (386–397) and his episcopate in Constantinople (398–403), he wrote over 200 homiletic commentaries on the entire Pauline episto­lary body of work. This research attempts to analyze how Chrysostom interprets Paul’s verses concern­ing the collection and uses them to organize and transform the ecclesial groups into communities of love, particularly paying attention to the poor. The study focuses on the works of John Chrysostom on Rom 15:25–29. Based on his interpretation, the status of debtors in the spiritual blessings is the main reason why the Romans had to be more earnest in almsgiving, imitating the Macedonians and the Achae­ans who had helped the community in Jerusalem. He also encourages them to reform their lives, cutting off the superfluities, luxurious lifestyles, and bad attitudes in squandering money on other selfish needs. At the same time, he stirrers them up to meet their needs moderately, which meant using only the goods that are truly necessary for a healthy and dignified life so that they would always have something to share with the poor.
Verbum Vitae, Volume 40, pp 501-513;

This paper aims to show the reasons why Alfred Loisy’s idea to develop an apology for Chri­stianity was unsuccessful and led to his transition to the modernist position. It explores theological and fundamental issues underlying his ambitious program. Firstly, it discusses the concept of modernism, having in mind that Loisy himself opposed the accusations of his following modernism. Secondly, it syn­thetically presents the context and characteristics of Loisy’s works to properly understand his idea of Christian apologetics. The subsequent section analyses Loisy’s most important assumptions and the way he formulated his apologia, focusing on the issue of historical criticism and his application of John Henry Newman’s idea of development to the history of religion. These analyses allow us to conclude that by applying the historical-critical method, Loisy did not avoid adapting incorrect philosophical assumptions and improper application of Newman’s development of Christian doctrine to his reflections on the hi­story of religion.
Verbum Vitae, Volume 40, pp 303-333;

The article examines the paradoxicality of the notion of freedom in the theodramatic approach of Hans Urs von Balthasar. The main subject concerns the paradox of finite and infinite freedom and their relationship described in the second volume of Theo-Drama. The thought of the Swiss theologian is compared with the reflections of Henri de Lubac and Józef Tischner. The confrontation of their approaches in the context of the chosen topic made it possible to apply a new research method. Instead of the dialectical method, typically used in this context, a method concentrated on identifying the paradox and exploring the mystery behind it has been applied. This approach has led to a deeper understanding of the key role of the dynamical nature of finite freedom and has indicated the importance of proper identification of its source. It has allowed also displaying the inalienable nature of the Christological dimension to understand correctly the concept of infinite freedom and the most important feature of its essence. Finally, it has also helped to gain an in-depth insight into the conditions regarding the possibility of a genuine, though not symmetrical, relationship between the two freedoms.
Verbum Vitae, Volume 40, pp 359-373;

This article proposes a new way of approaching the roots of secularism and its outcome that is secularization. The fact that this phenomenon arises precisely in a Christian world, which ultimately leads to a complete emancipation of that what is worldly toward religion, profanum toward sacrum, is astonishing. The process of European secularism has its beginning in the 11th century, when the so-called dispute about reason was initiated resulting, in the next epochs of human history, in an intensifying departure from transcendence in favour of a secular interpretation of reality. What ensued is a fading away of the classical understanding of truth as a “compatibility of entities with intellect” (adaequatio rei et intellectus), that is compatibility of understanding and reality, replacing understanding with one’s own crafting of reality, making of a new society. An examination of the history of the European secularization can contribute to a rise of a new humanism, which rests upon reasonableness that originates at the deepest basis of the Logos.
Verbum Vitae, Volume 40, pp 423-445;

It is not seldom that some authors try to compare the doctrine of Zen Buddhism with the doc­trine of Saint John of the Cross with the intention of finding some parallels. The most striking similarity seems to be the term “emptiness” (nada – John of the Cross and sunyata – Zen Buddhism). The difficulty of the comparison stems from the fact that in both cases this term has an experiential meaning, i.e. it de­scribes subjective feelings one has while following the spiritual path. Therefore, the intent of the paper is to capture the metaphysical and epistemological meaning of this term in order to facilitate the com­parison. This effort has led to the conclusion that in both doctrines the essentially different meaning of emptiness reflects their different understanding of the ultimate reality. Consequently, meditational techniques which both forms of spirituality adopted to achieve the ultimate reality exclude each other, and the semantic proximity of Zen Buddhism and John of the Cross is misleading.
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