Media Contact: Curtis Prather 
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(Alexandria, VA) - Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) is proud to announce the publication of The Song of Songs in the Early Middle Ages (Brill Publishing, April 2019), edited by Hannah W. Matis, Ph.D., assistant professor of Church History.

“Dr. Matis has written a model text of academic learning and analysis. Even as she takes a narrow field of focus (the interpretation of a single biblical text in a single period), she links her well-argued conclusions to the big questions that continue to animate the church today in the areas of public theology and private prayer," said the Rev. Melody Knowles, Ph.D., vice president of Academic Affairs and associate professor of Old Testament. "As biblical scholarship continues to take the interpretations of earlier communities with greater seriousness, Hannah's work will be a significant resource for many others outside of her field for decades to come.”

In The Song of Songs in the Early Middle Ages, Matis examines how the Song of Songs, the collection of Hebrew love poetry, was understood in the Latin West as an allegory of Christ and the church. This reading of the biblical text was passed down via the patristic tradition, established by the Venerable Bede, and promoted by the chief architects of the Carolingian reform. Throughout the ninth century, the Song of Songs became a text that Carolingian churchmen used to think about the nature of Christ and to conceptualize their own roles and duties within the church. This study examines the many different ways that the Song of Songs was read within its early medieval historical context.
Matis joined VTS in 2014. A historian by training from The Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame, her work has always been interdisciplinary. She is interested broadly in medieval history, medieval biblical interpretation, Anglican studies, and the history of spirituality, particularly the religious experience of women. Matis also holds a master’s degree in medieval history from the University of Durham.

Founded in 1823 as a beacon of hope in a country new and finding its way, Virginia Theological Seminary has led the way in forming leaders of the Episcopal Church, including: the Most Rev. John E. Hines (VTS 1933, D.D. 1946), former presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church; the Rt. Rev. John T. Walker (VTS 1954, D.D. 1978), the first African-American bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington; and theologian, author and lay preacher Ms. Verna J. Dozier (VTS D.D. 1978). Serving the worldwide Anglican Communion, Virginia Theological Seminary educates approximately 25% of those being ordained who received residential theological education. Visit Virginia Seminary online at www.vts.edu.
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