I am Derek Olsen, a Ph.D. student in New Testament at Emory University in the final stages of completing my dissertation. This work, entitled “Reading Matthew with Monks: Placing Early Medieval Monastic Hermeneutics in Conversation with the Scientific Study of the New Testament” is an investigation of four Old English homilies by Ælfric of Eynsham placed into conversation with the historical-critical method of Scripture interpretation. In it, I examine modern and early medieval monastic presuppositions and purposes in interpreting the Scriptures, explore the interpretive milieu of England’s Benedictine Revival with a special focus on the interpretive impact of the monastic liturgy, and discuss what the modern scientific study of Scripture can learn from early medieval monastic reading practices.

Topics of discussion will revolve around my research interests:

  • The interpretation of the Christian Scriptures, espcially the New Testament
  • The history of interpretation
  • Hermeneutics and interpretive method
  • The rhetorical/grammatical arts
  • Homiletics and homiletical theory, ancient and modern
  • Patristic and early medieval liturgics
  • The history and theology of lectionaries
  • Early medieval monastic culture
  • Old English literature/Anglo-Saxon culture
  • Academic computing/Database programming

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