About Dr. Stephen Hildebrand

Dr. Stephen Hildebrand, associate professor of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Dr. Hildebrand earned his PhD in historical theology from Fordham University and is a senior fellow at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology.

The Letter Kills but the Spirit Gives Life: Romans 7 in the Early Works of Augustine and in Rufinus’s Translation of Origen’s Commentary

Origen’s role in the Pelagian controversy that followed the Pauline renaissance of the late fourth century is given a sharp evaluation in terms of Augustine.

 The late fourth century witnessed a kind of Pauline renaissance in which Augustine and Rufinus participated. Around 400, the commentaries on Paul of six notable men became available: Origen’s (through Rufinus), Jerome’s, Pelagius’s, the Ambrosiaster’s, Marius Victorinus’s, and Augustine’s. Origen enjoyed some of his greatest success after his death: he directly influenced both Jerome’s and Pelagius’s work on Paul. Thus Origen’s presence is felt in the writings of half of the men who found this new interest in Paul at the turn of the fifth century. Caroline Hammond Bammel convincingly argues that even Augustine had read Orien’s Commentary on Romans, but not before 407 when Melania the Elder, a friend of Rufinus, visited Augustine at Hippo.

Read more at SalvationHistory.com.

Oboedientia and Oboedire in the Rule of St. Benedict: A Study of Their Theological and Monastic Meanings

Since the study of particular words or phrases in the Rule of St. Benedict is common for scholars, a word or phrase is often examined instead of the entire Rule itself. The terms oboedientia and oboedire will be discussed in light of the whole Rule of St. Benedict.

 The study of particular words or phrases in the Rule of St. Benedict is a common enough exercise that scholars of the Rule have undertaken. For the most part, however, a word or phrase is examined in a particular sentence or paragraph of the Rule rather than in the Rule as a whole. This has been the case with the words oboedientia and oboedire. With good reason, scholars have focused on Benedict’s treatment of obedience in RB 5, De oboedientia, and RB 68, Si fratri impossibilia iniungantur. Of the thirty-four times in which oboedientia and oboedire appear in the Rule, however, only nine of these are in RB 5 and RB 68. What, then, of the remaining twenty-five instances? Does Benedict’s use of these words in the other instance differ from that in RB 5 and RB 68? Do these other instances add anything to the understanding of obedience drawn from RB 5 and RB 68?

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A Reconsideration of the Development of Basil’s Trinitarian Theology: The Dating of Ep. 9 and Contra Eunomium

Evidence indicates a date early in the 360’s for both ep. 9 and Contra Eunomium, the Trinitarian works of Basil of Caesarea.

It is commonly acknowledged that Basil of Caesarea’s thought about the Trinity changed at some point in the 360s. Naturally, the chronological ordering of Basil’s early theological works will reveal the nature of the change in his thought and account for the subsequent evaluation of it. Basil’s ep. 9 and Contra Eunomium are especially important here because they preserve a great deal of what Basil has to say about the Trinity. But according to the way in which most date these works, the change in his thought is not a gradual progression culminating in Nicene orthodoxy but Basil’s purposeful misrepresentation of his own position so as to hide his true thoughts in the interest of imperial and ecclesiastical politics.

Read more at SalvationHistory.com.