Through an all-too-exclusive use of the historical-critical method, contemporary exegesis is in danger of becoming isolatedfrom the other theological disciplines, or reaching an impasse, and of becoming doomed ot sterility atthe ecclesial or pastoral level. All too often, it limits itself to the study of the origin and composition of texts. It is often more interested in historical event itself than in its meaning. It is more interested in philological and literary problems or in the structure of a literary unit than in its theological and religious import. In the work of interpretation, it almost completely ignores the contribution of medieval and patristic exegesis, the living tradition of the Church, and the resonance of Scripture in the life of believers. Exegesis is thus in danger of becoming a science reserved to specialists, that is, that "separated exegesis" so feared by M. Blondel.
It is generally acknowledged that we do not have at our disposal today a history of patristic exegesis. We have many monographs on the exegesis of this or that Father. But there exists no general work presenting the principal traits and characteristics of their exegesis, taken one at a time and in order. In this series, the distinguished French theologian, Bertrand de Margerie, S.J., attempts to fill this lacuna.