June 12, 2023
Associate Professor of Classical Languages Randy Richardson and Professor of History (Emeritus) Dr. Burnam Reynolds ’70 recently published a book, Gregory of Tours: The Book of the Miracles of the Blessed Andrew the Apostle. With an introduction from Reynolds and a foreword from historian Raymond Van Dam, Richardson provides the first full translation into English of Gregory of Tours’ Latin text surrounding Saint Andrew’s ministry in what is modern-day Turkey and Greece. This book is the most recent volume in the Dallas Medieval Texts and Translations series: https://dallasmedievaltexts.org/published-volumes/.
“Gregory of Tours recounts how God works through people,” said Richardson. “Saint Andrew allowed God to work through him to heal individuals and change lives. Those interested in the post-resurrection lives of the apostles would gain much from reading Gregory’s edifying text.”
“Richardson’s work is groundbreaking,” said Reynolds, who taught at Asbury from 1973-2019. “By providing the first complete English translation of this sixth-century work, he further confirms Gregory’s authorship and provides readers with cross-cultural conversion stories.”
Richardson celebrates 25 years of teaching at Asbury University, where he also serves as chair of the Department of Ancient & Modern Languages. He received his M.A. in classical languages from Indiana State University and is Asbury’s only classicist on the faculty, teaching all levels of Latin and ancient Greek as well as courses on classical mythology and ancient Roman civilization. He has been asked to review a manuscript that was recently submitted to Dallas Medieval Texts and Translations for possible inclusion in the series and hopes to collaborate again with Reynolds on another project.
Reynolds served faithfully at Asbury for 46 years, retiring in 2019. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in history from the University of Kentucky, with research interests in early medieval Ireland, pre-history of the Crusades, the Missionary War and the Baltic Crusades, and Gregory of Tours. His next book, Barbarian Queens and the Conversion of Europe, will be released within the next year.
Richardson and Reynolds express the relevance of this sixth-century writing to the 21st century, noting that readers will recognize in Gregory’s lively account of the ministry of Saint Andrew several issues that we grapple with today, such as the nature of marriage, religious intolerance, sexual immorality and sex trafficking, sound teaching on matters of faith, spiritual warfare, and belief in miracles.
“In our postmodern world, we tend to separate the natural and the supernatural,” Richardson said. “But there was no separation of these realms in Gregory’s day, which notably witnessed miracles.”
“People of the early middle ages saw miracles as natural outworkings,” Reynolds said. “Then, in the 12th century, the idea developed that God occasionally intervenes. In our current landscape, we look at causation and tend to compartmentalize our faith. This book shifts the focus from what we can do to what God can do.”
Through their interdisciplinary collaboration, Richardson and Reynolds integrate a liberal arts framework through intertwining Latin, history, and religion. Thanks to Richardson’s translation work, the book incorporates a dual-text format, with Latin and English on facing pages for readers to engage the material in both languages.
“This book takes history a step further,” Reynolds said. “History tells what happens. Hagiography, namely writing about the lives and deeds of the saints, shows how God worked through people.”
Released by Peeters Publishers, an international academic publisher in Leuven, Belgium, this book is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Gregory-Tours-Miracles-Medieval-Translations/dp/904294966X/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3HSNGBFSOKHYV&keywords=gregory+of+tours+randy+richardson&qid=1686584904&sprefix=gregory+of+tours+randy+richardson%2Caps%2C99&sr=8-1.