Karl Shuve

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies


Annette Y. Reed




Most scholars working on the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies and Recognitions, two related Christian novels redacted in fourth-century Syria, have been primarily concerned With source-critical questions. They have treated these texts as mere collections of sources, which are valuable for our understanding of "Jewish Christianity" in the first and second centuries. The recent works of Kelley and Reed, however, have demonstrated that these novels are! important works of late antique literature in their own right, and that they have much to tell us about Christianity and Judaism in the fourth century.

In this thesis I follow their lead, seeking to understand the approach to Scripture in the Homilies and its relationship to broader theological issues in fourth-century Syria. I argue that the Homilies engages in a tacit polemic against Christians who read Scripture allegorically and reflects similar anti-Alexandrian concerns as are evident in the writings of other fourth-century theologians and exegetes from Antioch, particularly Eustathius of Antioch, Diodore of Tarsus, and Theodore of Mopsuestia. I suggest that this polemic becomes evident when we read the doctrine of the false pericopes in Hom. 1-3 together with the critique of the Greek myths in Hom. 4-6, and when we note the rather frequent attempts of the authors/redactors of the Homilies to cast Alexandria in a negative light.

McMaster University Library

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."

Included in

Religion Commons