Christian Humanist Profiles 81: Reading Matthew with Monks

Ora et labora: Pray and work. This directive has ordered the life of Benedictine monastics for centuries, each day’s rhythm of worship and toil shaping the soul toward love and humility. But this Benedictine life creates other kinds of change as well: it can shape how a monk reads the Bible. In his book, Reading Matthew with Monks, Derek Olsen explains how a life defined by the Rule and the liturgy creates a distinctive community of Bible readers, focusing particularly on the sermons of the Anglo-Saxon abbot Ælfric of Eynsham. Olsen doesn’t present these monastic readers as a historical curiosity, however: instead, he argues that voices like Ælfric should be included in our current conversations about biblical interpretation. In this episode of Christian Humanist Profiles, David Grubbs interviews Dr. Derek Olsen, author of Reading Matthew with Monks: Liturgical Interpretation in Anglo-Saxon England (Liturgical Press, 2015).

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