The True Church: Retrieving a North African Sermon on the Song of Songs
In this mini-monograph, David Wilhite offers a sustained analysis of the Donatist bishop of Carthage Parmenian's sermon on the Song of Songs as it survives in Optatus of Milevis' reading of it. The sermon itself invoked imagery from the Song of Songs to attribute theological meaning to the material objects. Both Parmenian and Optatus agree on this so-called allegorical interpretation of the Old Testament text; the only difference in their interpretation is the level of application. Parmenian applies this text to the local basilica while Optatus re-interprets the text to apply it to the church universal.