Event Title

Hugh of St. Victor’s Sacramental Theology of History: Contours and Relevance

Location

Seminary Room N310

Start Date

15-2-2019 9:45 AM

End Date

15-2-2019 10:05 AM

Description

This paper will trace the contours of the theology of history that emerges in Hugh of St. Victor’s (c. 1096–1141) writings and relate it to his sacramental conception of reality. Hugh’s sacramental theology is mystical in the sense that the believer’s ability to comprehend God in contemplation is restored through sacramental symbolism. Hugh called this form of contemplation speculatio. Created reality as a symbolic representation of the Creator, and thus amenable to speculative contemplation, is the sacramental ground on which Hugh was able to build his theology of history. Allegorical and tropological interpretation controlled by the literal-historical reading of the text is how Hugh’s speculative interpretation of reality is structured when applied to Scripture. From this method, Hugh determined the history was the ordering principle of God’s creative and restorative acts, the primordial condition of human existence, and the foundation of doctrinal exposition. Hugh’s theology of history begins with God’s ordering our existence historically so that we might seek Him, takes the fall as a disordering of our time through a disruption of our ability to see God represented in reality, moves through a historical succession of sacraments, formal and speculative, that put humanity on the track of reformation, and culminates in the union with God that was humanity’s original telos.

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Feb 15th, 9:45 AM Feb 15th, 10:05 AM

Hugh of St. Victor’s Sacramental Theology of History: Contours and Relevance

Seminary Room N310

This paper will trace the contours of the theology of history that emerges in Hugh of St. Victor’s (c. 1096–1141) writings and relate it to his sacramental conception of reality. Hugh’s sacramental theology is mystical in the sense that the believer’s ability to comprehend God in contemplation is restored through sacramental symbolism. Hugh called this form of contemplation speculatio. Created reality as a symbolic representation of the Creator, and thus amenable to speculative contemplation, is the sacramental ground on which Hugh was able to build his theology of history. Allegorical and tropological interpretation controlled by the literal-historical reading of the text is how Hugh’s speculative interpretation of reality is structured when applied to Scripture. From this method, Hugh determined the history was the ordering principle of God’s creative and restorative acts, the primordial condition of human existence, and the foundation of doctrinal exposition. Hugh’s theology of history begins with God’s ordering our existence historically so that we might seek Him, takes the fall as a disordering of our time through a disruption of our ability to see God represented in reality, moves through a historical succession of sacraments, formal and speculative, that put humanity on the track of reformation, and culminates in the union with God that was humanity’s original telos.