The article presents relations between Old Polish biblical-apocryphal narrations to Church Fathers’ texts. There are numerous questions: which Church Fathers were known to Old Polish authors? What were specific writers’ preferences? Were the choices made by Polish authors different in this respect from the European practice? How were Fathers’ writings translated? Was there any difference in how patristic texts were used compared to other works (canon and non-canon works)? Were Old Polish authors aware that Fathers’ writings were present in texts by other Christian authors? Nonetheless, the two questions I put at the very centre of my research is: 1) what are the writings and the authority of the Church Fathers used for, and what is the purpose of referring to the Fathers; 2) what is the image of the Church Fathers and patristics that is present in the Old Polish authors’ texts.
It is commonly acknowledged that blindness and seeing play an important role in the theology of the Gospel of Mark. Typically, readers interpret “spiritual blindness” as the moral thrust of the discipleship discourse in Mark 8:22–10:52. While the disciples fail to see their teacher as the Christ, blind Bartimaeus appears to identify Jesus as the “Son of David” (10:46–52). However, centering blindness-as-vice not only plays on an unfortunate ableist binary but also renders Mark’s more marginal characters as insignificant. Research on blindness in antiquity demonstrates how socioeconomic status was a leading factor in determining social perceptions of the blind. This article contends that Mark’s Bartimaeus pericope should be read accordingly. Instead of serving as a metaphor for “spiritual blindness,” physically blind characters are raised to the status of insider as a condemnation of mistreatment of the poor—a motif found within the broader terrain of Mark’s moral landscape (6:30–44; 8:1–10; 12:38–44; 14:1–11).
Ecological issues are not just planet-related issues; they are also people-related issues, and vice versa, as the UN’s 2030 Agenda implies. Hence, ecological aspects in biblical studies should also be studied in relation to social justice, whether this be liberation from oppression, indigenous rights, postcolonialism/neo-colonialism, gender, health, poverty or other. I propose sustainability hermeneutics as the name of an approach which combines perspectives on the environment (ecology), equity (society) and economy. In this article, I emphasise theoretical aspects in developing this new approach, as I discuss different definitions of sustainability and aspects of sustainability theory and show how these may be applied to hermeneutics. I clarify the aims and contributions of sustainability hermeneutics and suggest possible methods and potential material. As an illustration, I present a case study of sustainability hermeneutics applied to a biblical text.