Here’s a very brief account of today’s papers in the “Anastasius Sinaita and the Bible” symposium held in Leuven, 12-13 December. Second part here.

In the first paper, “Anastase le Sinaïte et/ou Anastase d’Alexandrie ? Recherches nouvelles sur un grand inconnu”, Dimitrios Zaganas (who is writing a PhD on this author in Leuven) discussed the scarce evidence available (internal and especially external, including the complex textual relationships with other works and debates of the time), on the one hand for dating of the work of Athanasius of Sinai between the 7th to the 8th century, and on the other for establishing his historical identity in relation to other characters named Anastasius which appear in hagiographic literature.

In the second paper—“The Old Testament Text of Anastasius”—Reinhart Ceulemans (Leuven) offered comments on Athanasius’ use of the OT in the Hexaemeron, and in particular on the hypothesis regarding the possible use of the Hexapla (Kuehn). Even though Athanasius seems to mention Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotion, and the Hexapla, he seems to have used them indirectly, through other sources rather than the versions themselves. No clear evidence that he used the Hexapla itself and his few meaningful variant readings in Genesis do not reflect Codex Sinaiticus, or the Hexaplaric recension, or any other text type for that matter.

The third and last paper of the day, by Ioannis Papadoyannakis (King’s College London) “The Use of Question-and-Answer Method and Process in Anastasius’ Hexaemeron,” presented the background and larger context for Athanasius way of employing the Q&A structure in his homilies, which seems to follow for persuasive aims rhetorical traditions rather than, for instance, an Aristotelian way of seeking for a truth.

There you go.