October 15, 2009

Hugh on the Nature of the Scriptures

This morning I am about my ponderous project of reading Hugh of St. Victor's De Sacramentis, and in I:6:12-13 I arrive at an interesting definition of the content of the Sacred Scriptures:

Before the fall, the human being had three kinds of knowledge that pertained to prelapsarian perfection: of God, of himself, and of the rest of creation over which he was meant to have dominion. This third area of knowledge is revealed in the naming of the animals (Genesis 2:19), as the human being was meant to use his own reason and knowledge to take care of the world.

Now only the first two categories of knowledge were obscured in the fall, so it's only these that are contained in the tutelage and remedy we receive through Sacred Scripture. That's why the Bible doesn't teach anything about math, goat care, or hut construction, because these sorts of knowledge were not obscured by original sin.


FrankCaiati said...

goat care...fantastic.

Joyful Catholic said...

working on 'hut construction' inside my heart, it is where first to build...

Ad Abolendam said...

Did you ever manage to get an English translation of "De Sacramentis"? You probably don't remember me, but I was in a class with you on Hugh at Boston College. (I think you dropped it after a few weeks.) I seem to remember that the professor wanted us to get Deferrari's translation, but it was way out of print.

I was also in a class with you on St. Bonaventure taught by Steve Brown.


Brother Charles said...


I remember it well. Now that I might be going back to BC I feel bad about dropping that course. I hope he doesn't remember!

Check it out; De Ferrari's translation is back in print!

Brother Charles said...

All morning long I've been thinking about Ad Abolendam's revelations as the perfect illustration of the masked man fallacy.