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The Living Body of the Lord: E.B. Pusey’s ‘Types and Prophecies of the Old Testament’

WESTHAVER, GEORGE,DERRICK (2012) The Living Body of the Lord: E.B. Pusey’s ‘Types and Prophecies of the Old Testament’. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



In his ‘Lectures on Types and Prophecy’ (1836-7), E. B. Pusey urges the recovery of a patristic and ‘Apostolic’ approach to the interpretation of the Old Testament. This thesis will argue that for Pusey finding types and ‘typical’ prophecies of Christ and his Church in the whole of the Old Testament is not an exegetical curiosity or option, but rather a necessary expression of doctrine and spiritual discipline. For Pusey, the unwillingness of interpreters guided by the apologetic and evidentialist approach to theology in his day to follow the Fathers’ example manifests important theological differences. He advocates both the recovery of patristic exegesis and the theological vision in which it makes sense. ‘Every thing is a type’, in the books of God’s works and words, because all created things bear the impress of their creator. Moreover, all types or images, in Scripture, in nature, and in the human soul, seek a fulfilment in a salvific return to the Trinity in Unity. Drawing on both patristic and Romantic sources, Pusey describes knowledge as a form of participation in the divine life in opposition to the rationalistic and procedural presuppositions he finds implicit in the apologetic approach. For Pusey, epistemology must be treated alongside sanctification and typology reflects Christology; a sacramental or ‘typical’ reading of prophecy transforms people made in the image of God to become more like God and hence able to know God and to read with understanding. Articulating these ideas was a project which occupied Pusey and his Tractarian colleagues during the most creative years of the Oxford Movement. While in many ways they gave voice to important High Church ideals, the puzzled response which greeted this part of their work reveals its radicalism and suggests possibilities for the contemporary search for the re-integration of theology and spirituality.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:E. B. Pusey (1800-1882), Typology, Allegory, Oxford Movement, patristic interpretation of the Bible, rationalism
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2012
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:21 Jan 2013 14:22

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