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Letters From That City

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By Father Thomas Crean,OP

Softcover, 85 pages

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As St Augustine told his flock in Hippo Regius, the books of Scripture are letters that have come to us from the City toward which we are on pilgrimage. Yet for many decades, the teaching and study of Scripture in academic settings within the Catholic Church has served more to undermine faith than to nourish it. This disastrous situation has arisen through a forgetfulness or rejection of the principles that should guide exegesis. In particular, many renowned scholars whose works have dominated the Catholic landscape sought to erect exegesis into an autonomous discipline, separated from both the teachings of the Church and from speculative theology. To shield themselves from such a secularized exegesis, and in response to the wider assault on orthodoxy within the Church, some Catholics have taken refuge with the magisterium, yet in a way that can obscure the fact that popes and bishops themselves must remain subject to the word of God. In this brief but profound primer, Fr Thomas Crean OP sets forth principles fundamental to all exegesis—in particular, the plenary inspiration and inerrancy of the sacred books—and responds to modern attempts to limit these two properties of Holy Writ. He discusses disputed questions about the nature of inspiration, literary genres, the plurality of senses, and the sufficiency of Scripture, and explains the enduring importance of the Septuagint and the Vulgate. Letters from that City will be of use especially to seminarians and other students of theology.

Fr Thomas Crean is an English Dominican. He has a doctorate in sacred theology from the International Theological Institute and teaches Scripture at Holy Apostles College and Seminary, Connecticut. He is the author of several books, including commentaries on the Gospels of St Mark and St Luke.

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