Studia Patristica

The goal of citation is to credit the source of a quotation of an idea clearly, so that any reader who wishes can locate it in the original source. We establish specific citation styles to facilitate the reader’s interpretation of the reference provided. Thus, SBLHS style is to place the title of an unpublished dissertation within quotation marks and set it roman, to distinguish it from a published book title, which has no quotation marks and is set italics. Similarly, we italicize journal titles so readers can distinguish them easily from book series names, which are set roman.

Sometimes, however, readers are better served by adapting our standard style to meet a specific need. Such is the case with Studia Patristica volumes.

Studia Patristica is a Peeters book series that publishes papers presented at the quadrennial Oxford International Conference on Patristic Studies. Each volume bears an individual title and has a named editor, so one would assume that the usual rules for citing an essay in a collected work work apply (see SBLHS 6.2.12).

Unfortunately, applying those rules to the typical Studia Patristica essay is not so simple. In most cases, each conference results in the publication of multiple volumes (not merely one volume per quadrennial meeting), each of which is generally edited by the same scholar(s) and bears the same main title; only the volume subtitles and the series numbers distinguish one from another.

For example, the 2007 conference led to the publication of the following six volumes (StPatr 44–49), all edited by Jane Baun et al. and published by Peeters in 2010:

44: Papers Presented at the Fifteenth International Conference on Patristic Studies Held in Oxford 2007: Archaeologica, Arts, Iconographica—Tools—Historica—Biblica—Theologica, Philosophica, Ethica

45: Papers Presented at the Fifteenth International Conference on Patristic Studies Held in Oxford 2007: Ascetica—Liturgica—Orientalia—Critica et philologica—The First Two Centuries

46: Papers Presented at the Fifteenth International Conference on Patristic Studies Held in Oxford 2007: Tertullian to Tyconius—Egypt before Nicaea—Athanasius and His Opponents

47: Papers Presented at the Fifteenth International Conference on Patristic Studies Held in Oxford 2007: Cappadocian Writers—The Second Half of the Fourth Century (Greek Writers)

48: Papers Presented at the Fifteenth International Conference on Patristic Studies Held in Oxford 2007: From the Fifth Century: Greek Writers, Latin Writers. Nachleben

49: Papers Presented at the Fifteenth International Conference on Patristic Studies Held in Oxford 2007: St. Augustine and His Opponents

Citing an essay from one of these volumes in the usual way would entail listing the full title and all the other facts of publication:

60. See further Vít Hušek, “Human Freedom according to the Earliest Latin Commentaries on Paul’s Letters,” in Papers Presented at the Fifteenth International Conference on Patristic Studies Held in Oxford 2007: Archaeologica, Arts, Iconographica—Tools—Historica—Biblica—Theologica, Philosophica, Ethica, ed. Jane Baun et al., StPatr 44 (Leuven: Peeters, 2010), 385–90.

Not only does this approach take a significant amount of space for a single citation, but later references to other essays in the same volume will also be longer than preferred, since both the title and part of the subtitle will need to be given to identify the particular volume. In other words, subsequent short-title references will not really be short.

62. Catherine Brown Tkacz, “Esther as a Type of Christ and the Jewish Celebration of Purim,” in Baun et al., Papers Presented at the Fifteenth International Conference on Patristic Studies Held in Oxford 2007: Archaeologica, Arts, Iconographica, 183–87.

Beyond that, the full title of the volume will need to be given for every essay in the bibliography. All of this verbiage will only increase the length of works citing Studia Patristica essays with no real benefit for readers.

SBL Press prefers a different approach, a modification of a citation style that one frequently sees used with Studia Patristica volumes. Specifically, we recommend citing the series Studia Patristica according to the usual journal format but with one important adjustment: the series name should be set roman, to identify the work as a series (not italicized as though it were a journal, as one often sees).

60. See further Vít Hušek, “Human Freedom according to the Earliest Latin Commentaries on Paul’s Letters,” StPatr 44 (2010): 385–90.

62. Catherine Brown Tkacz, “Esther as a Type of Christ and the Jewish Celebration of Purim,” StPatr 44 (2010): 183–87.

This first citation above is roughly 65 percent shorter than the earlier one, but it offers readers all the information needed to locate the volume in a library catalog (we checked). Even a short-title reference will be more economical in this citation style.

We prefer to have clear and comprehensive guidelines to guide our work, but sometimes those rules must be modified to accommodate a special situation. Citation of Studia Patristica volumes is one instance in which we recommend modifying the standard reference style.

 

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