This book offers the first critical overview of the hymns of Ambrose of Milan in the context of fourth-century Christian song and Ambrose’s own catechetical preaching. These settings must 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, the book describes the mystagogical function of the songs. It then examines Ambrose’s sermons, especially his catechetical works, for preached parallels to this hymnodic effort. Close reading of Ambrose’s hymnodic corpus constitutes the bulk of the study. The treatment of early Ambrosian imitations, especially the poetry of Prudentius, corroborates the thesis. These early emulators amplify the hymnodic features that are identified as “enchanting,” that is, enlightening the “eyes of faith.” Engaging the mass of literature on Ambrose, early Christian hymns and poetry, and doctrinal dispute in the fourth century, the volume makes several contributions to the scholarship. First, particular and original readings of words, phrases, and hymns aid the ongoing project of deciphering Ambrose’s meaning and establishing Ambrosian authorship. Second, the early reception of Ambrose’s hymns illuminates both Ambrose’s methods and the expansion of popular hymns and learned Christian poetry in the early Latin church. Third, the study engages the theology of the corpus of Ambrose’s hymns, a feature often ignored by scholars who adopt a philological approach; Ambrose’s distinctive Nicene Christology informs and motivates the careful poetics of the hymns.
View a guide of selected resources (PDF) on this topic available through the Libraries.
Why You Eat What You Eat
by Rachel Herz
Antique Coptic Textiles in McMullen Museum
by Nancy Netzer
Listening to Early Modern Catholicism: Perspectives from Musicology
Edited by Michael Noone & Daniele V. Filippi
Nazi Law: From Nuremberg to Nuremberg
Edited by John J. Michalczyk
Academic–Practitioner Relationships: Developments, Complexities and Opportunities
by Jean M. Bartunek & Jane McKenzie
Rebel Power: Why National Movements Compete, Fight, and Win
by Peter Krause
Father Blake on his life long involvement with Film Studies and his twenty-two years at Boston College
by Richard Blake S.J. Ph.D.
Written for Our Instruction: Theological and Spiritual Riches in Romans
by Thomas D. Stegman, S.J.
English Alliterative Verse: Poetic Tradition and Literary History
by Eric Weiskott
From Neither Here Not There
by Sammy Chong, S.J.
21st Century Corporate Citizenship: a Practical Guide to Delivering Value to Society and Your Business
by Katherine Valvoda Smith and Dave Stangis