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This dissertation proposes a reframing of historical-critical exegesis in terms of ascetic theology in order to integrate it with pre-modern Christian techniques. I examine 1 John, Augustine, and Hugh and Richard of St. Victor to show how their interpretive techniques are grounded in an epistemology of love, which entails a theological and ascetic program. Human beings are invited and enabled to participate in the love of God which has been enacted in time by Jesus and made present in the Christian community by the Holy Spirit. This participation allows a reader to see more in the scriptural texts than would have been apparent to their authors, while remaining accountable to the communities that generated them. Historical-critical methodologies are an ascetic practice which teach one to love a historical other and thereby gain access to the mind of Christ. They give meaning and texture to the mysteries of Christ. This requires a broadening of modern historicist sensibilities, which I demonstrate through an engagement with Ernst Troeltsch.


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