Andrew of Crete’s Great Canon, Byzantine Hermeneutics, and Genesis 1-3

Based on previous research, which he now brought up to date in terms of the specialised literature, Doru Costache published the chapter “Andrew of Crete’s Great Canon, Byzantine Hermeneutics, and Genesis 1-3.” The chapter appears in the prestigious volume Hymns, Homilies and Hermeneutics in Byzantium published in Leiden and Boston by the no less prestigious academic publisher Brill, in 2020. The contribution features in the company of Australian and international contributions.

The volume’s editors have been Andrew Mellas and Sarah Gador-Whyte; the volume features as volume 25 in the well-known series Byzantina Australiensia. Costache’s chapter is found at 67-85.


Byzantine hymnography remains an underestimated resource regarding the reception of Genesis 1–3. Andrew of Crete’s eighth-century Great Canon contains important pointers to the Byzantine way of reading the paradise narrative, but pays less attention to the creation narrative. To decode the Canon’s take on Genesis, I consider the liturgical genre to which it belongs, hermeneutical elements, together with aspects of its theology and spirituality. I end by analysing several passages from the Canon, relevant to the Byzantine way of reading Genesis.

The text of the chapter can be read here