This volume by a respected theologian offers fresh consideration of the work of famous fourth-century church father Athanasius, giving specific attention to his use of Scripture, his deployment of metaphysical categories, and the intersection between the two. Peter Leithart not only introduces Athanasius and his biblical theology but also puts Athanasius into dialogue with contemporary theologians.
This volume launches the series Foundations of Theological Exegesis and Christian Spirituality. Edited by Hans Boersma and Matthew Levering, the series critically recovers patristic exegesis and interpretation for contemporary theology and spirituality. Each volume covers a specific church father and illuminates the exegesis that undergirds the Nicene tradition. The series contributes to the growing area of theological interpretation and will appeal to both evangelical and Catholic readers.
Peter J. Leithart (PhD, University of Cambridge) is adjunct senior fellow of theology at New Saint Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho, and serves as the president of Trinity House Institute in Birmingham, Alabama. He is the author of numerous books, including 1 & 2 Kings in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible, A House for My Name: A Survey of the Old Testament, and a forthcoming commentary on 2 Peter. He is also a contributing editor for Touchstone.
Peter J. Leithart has authored a remarkably good book. He possesses an in-depth and insightful knowledge of the entire Athanasian corpus, and he has examined all of the relevant secondary literature. His scholarship is impeccable. Moreover, Leithart's splendid and stimulating originality resides in his clear and lucid articulation of Athanasius's biblical theology and the metaphysics that lies within that biblical theology. Thus, he has made a substantial contribution to growing academic appreciation of the indispensable and fruitful relationship between the biblical text and the doctrinal statement. Leithart's Athanasius is, as a result, a fresh, perceptive, and rewarding study.
--Thomas G. Weinandy,
OFM, Cap, Executive Director, The Secretariat for Doctrine, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC
The action of this book occurs on three levels at least: most obviously, it is a presentation of Athanasius in his confrontation with Arianism; then, too, the author conducts his own engagement with some modern and contemporary scholars both in their interpretation of Athanasius and in their treatment of the substantive questions; and finally, some perennial issues of scriptural exegesis and hermeneutics peep more directly through in many places. Peter Leithart describes his governing systematic purpose as the 'evangelization of metaphysics,' and it may be affirmed that classical doctrines of the Trinity and the incarnation here shine through in all their soteriological strength.
Cushman Professor of Systematic Theology, Duke Divinity School
If Christian theology had superheroes, Athanasius would perhaps lead the list thanks to his sometimes single-handed struggle to maintain trinitarian orthodoxy. Leithart's excellent study shows Athanasius to be christocentric in his biblical interpretation and theology long before Barth made it fashionable to be so. The 'sense of the Fathers' is indeed being visited upon their evangelical great-grandchildren, and with mostly salutary effect. Leithart has got the Foundations of Theological Exegesis and Christian Spirituality series off to a splendid start.
--Kevin J. Vanhoozer,
Blanchard Professor of Theology, Wheaton College and Graduate School