Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Significant new article from Michel René Barnes

I was pleased to find a new article by Michel René Barnes in the latest issue of Nova et Vetera. His 40 page essay, "Irenaeus's Trinitarian Theology" intends,

"to describe Irenaeus's Trinitarian theology as thoroughly as I can, short of a monograph, by close readings of what I regard as key passages in Irenaeus's writings, and by situating that theology within the context of Trinitarian theologies of the second half of the second century A.D." (67).

The essay was apparently written during his recent sabbatical and in relative seclusion from university libraries, so that a band of his Marquette students are acknowledged in a note for their research assistance. Barnes is also working on two books, one on Augustine's trinitarian theology and one on the Holy Spirit in the early church. I don't know what a sabbatical away from libraries means for these projects, but apparently he's managed to complete a pretty substantial study nonetheless.

This article will be a great benefit to Irenaeus scholarship as it fills a significant gap in the literature; it follows Barnes' general interest in both trinitarian theology and pneumatology as they develop during the patristic period. From what I've read so far, Barnes has emphasized the Stoic influence on Irenaeus (while recognizing that this doesn't preclude the more obvious influences, such as the Johannine tradition), and has already coined a term, "Spirit Monarchianism", to distinguish a particular theological branch of thought (I take this sort of coining to be somewhat of a past time for Barnes).

This is also a significant event for Nova et Vetera, I would say. The journal was not launched all that long ago by Ave Maria, and a thick contribution of this sort marks the English edition of this international journal as a place to go for significant scholarship in historical theology.


  1. I have a uchicago username and pass i was wondering if there is a way to read this Barnes article through their system?

  2. As far as I can tell, UChicago does not hold Nova et Vetera. This actually may be worth emailing a librarian about... they tend to be receptive to suggestions for new acquisitions from my experience.