The paper suggests a new hermeneutical take on receptive patristics. Receptive patristics means here the ways in which patristic texts are perceived in the community of patristic scholars and in ecclesiastical communities. The perceptions of the patristic materials that these two kinds of communities demonstrate are not always convergent. Their divergence can be explained on the basis of the distinction between normative linguistics and sociolinguistics. Ecclesiastical communities tend to treat the language of the Fathers and Mothers of the church in coherence with the way in which the proponents of normative linguistics treat the phenomenon of language. Patristic scholars, in contrast, usually treat them along the line of sociolinguistics. The approach to the language, which is applied by sociolinguistics, if adopted by ecclesiastical communities, could lead to a better understanding between them. It could foster the ecumenical rapprochement between confessional traditions, especially if they are based on patristic identities, such as in the case of Byzantine and Oriental churches. The academic method of sociolinguistics, thus, can be applied to the ecumenical studies and can positively contribute to practical ecumenism.
Hovorun, Cyril. (2019). Patristics and Sociolinguistics. Scrinium. 16. 1-10.