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Overview

In this academic collection from Gorgias Press, you’ll find a wealth of studies on historic Christianity in the Eastern hemisphere. Dive into monographs and collections of essays, as well as texts and translations of documents important to the history of Orthodoxy. Start with time-tested introductions to Syriac studies, Syriac literature, and the Bible in the Syriac tradition, written by distinguished scholars Rubens Duval and Sebastian Brock. Then dig deeper with specialized studies on Jacob of Serugh, Bardaisan of Edessa, Kassia the Nun, Jacob of Edessa, and others. Explore works on Syriac Christianity in the Middle East and India, Christian and Muslim dialogues, the Syriac Orthodox community under the Ottoman Empire, the Holy Spirit in the Syrian baptismal tradition, and more. This collection offers over 11,000 pages of text, translation, comparison, and analysis from top scholars around the world.

Studying Gorgias Eastern Christian Studies with Logos streamlines and enhances your experience. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library.The Timeline enables you to instantly contextualize the people, places, and ideas discussed with thousands of other biblical and world events. Cross-reference and compare with an extensive library of Orthodox scholarship. Perform powerful searches with the Topic Guide to instantly gather relevant biblical texts and resources together. Take your study with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Examines important topics within the history of Eastern Christianity
  • Offers rigorous academic studies by top scholars from around the world
  • Includes translations and analysis of important Syriac documents

Individual Titles

A 16th Century Italo-Byzantine Cross

  • Editor: Sheila Campbell
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 181

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In this study, scholars illuminate a hybrid Greek and Italian culture by examining an elaborately carved sixteenth-century cross. This cross, dated by its box to the sixteenth century, features fairly standard Christian iconography, but where we might expect the Orthodox form—for example, the Anastasis, imagery of Christ breaking down the gates of Hell—we have instead the Western imagery of the Resurrection, showing a tomb and the sleeping soldiers. Inscriptions on the cross are mostly in Latin, but sometimes lapse into transcribed Greek. Contributors seek to identify the cross’ carver in order to speculate about his life, and study how he and his art reflect this hybrid Greek-Italian culture.

Sheila Campbell was curator of the Lillian Malcove Collection at the University of Toronto for 20 years. She earned her PhD from the University of Toronto, and is an emeritus of the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. She is also the editor of The Malcove Collection: A Catalogue of the Objects in the Lillian Malcove Collection of the Unversity of Toronto, author of The Mosaics of Anemurium, The Mosaics of Antioch, and other titles.

A List of Syriac Orthodox Ecclesiastic Ordinations from the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century: The Syriac Manuscript of Hunt 444 (Syr 68 in Bodleian Library, Oxford)

  • Author: Iskandar Bcheiry
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 143

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The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are considered dark ages of Syriac history. The lack of historical sources reflects the disastrous decline of their society and culture under the Mameluke and Ottoman Empires. The Bodleian Library in Oxford currently holds an unpublished historical document in Syriac, containing precious historical information with regards to the ordination of bishops, priests, monks, and deacons. In this volume, Iskandar Bcheiry provides the text and translation, focuses on comparing the document with historical data from other sources. He argues that the importance of this list extends beyond its role of recording successive ordinations, opening a historical window into villages, monasteries, churches, and ecclesiastical leaders who played important roles within the Syriac Orthodox Church during the Ottoman period for an entire century.

Iskandar Bcheiry is also the author of Repentance and Fasting from an Ascetical Perspective: A Comparative Reading of Jacob of Serugh and an Unpublished Shortened Version of a Collection of Homilies by Severus of Antioch.

An Introduction to Syriac Studies

  • Author: Sebastian P. Brock
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 88

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Sebastian P. Brock provides basic guidance to important areas of Syriac studies. Brock explores the relevance of Syriac studies to a variety of other fields, notably biblical studies, patristics, and the general history of the Near East. He offers a brief orientation to the history of Syriac literature, and sets Syriac within the context of the other Aramaic dialects. He discusses important tools (Instrumenta Studiorum) both for the student commencing study in the field and scholars working in adjacent areas..

Brock includes grammars, dictionaries, the Bible in Syriac, histories of Syriac literature, bibliographical aids and relevant series, periodicals, and encyclopedias. An appendix explains how the different churches of Syriac tradition are related to one another and how they fit into the Christian tradition as a whole, sorting out the confusing variety of terms by which they are known.

This may be called an introduction, but it is worth the time reading through for any student or experienced scholar. . . . Brock’s enthusiasm and delight in the subject quickly infect even the oldest hand. There are certainly other scholars who could compile a similarly excellent introduction to the study of Syriac; here we may listen to the voice of the scholar who has had a significant role in putting it all together.

—Robert A. Kitchen, Knox-Metropolitan United Church, Regina, Saskatchewan

Sebastian P. Brock was born in 1938 and studied classics and oriental studies at Cambridge University before earning his DPhil at Oxford University. He has taught at the Universities of Birmingham, Cambridge, and Oxford, where he was reader in Syriac studies. He published extensively in the field of Syriac and edited a number of new texts.

Bardaisan of Edessa: A Reassessment of the Evidence and a New Interpretation

  • Author: Ilaria L.E. Ramelli
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 402

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Ilaria L.E. Ramelli critically analyzes and compares sources on Bardaisan, allowing us to reinterpret his thought. Her study presents profound points of contact between Bardaisan and Origen and their schools, and it evaluates the fragments preserved by Porphyry. She also assesses the role of Plato’s Timaeus and Middle Platonism in Bardaisan’s thought. Her conclusion undermines the picture of a Gnostic and heretic Bardaisan.

Ramelli analysis shows how some charges against Bardaisan prove unfounded. Bardaisan’s thought emerges as deeply Christian, dependent on Scripture and read in the light of Greek philosophy—similar to Origen, and Philo before him. She reveals how other ancient sources present Bardaisan as a deacon, or even a presbyter, fighting against Marcionism and Gnosticism, and remaining true to the Christian faith despite persecution.

Ilaria L.E.Ramelli holds two masters degrees in early Christianity and history of philosophy, a PhD in Classics, and a postdoctorate in late antiquity. She received two Agostino Gemelli Awards (1996, 1997) for the best Catholic-University graduate, and the 2006 Marcello Gigante Classics International Award. She has been professor of history of the Roman Near East, and assistant of history of ancient philosophy since 2003 at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, as well as senior research fellow in ancient and patristic philosophy at Durham University.

Barhebraeus: A Bio-Bibliography

  • Author: Hidemi Takahashi
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 604

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The Syriac Orthodox prelate and polymath Gregory Abu al-Faraj Barhebraeus (Bar `Ebroyo) is indisputably the greatest author of the twelth- and thirteenth-century Syriac “Renaissance.” His works have been studied extensively over the past four centuries. There has, however, been little study in recent years aimed at providing a comprehensive overview of his life and works—Hidemi Takahasi attempts to fill this gap.

Takahashi begins by sketching out Barhebraeus’ life, considering the results of the latest research as well as classic historical studies. He then surveys the maphrian’s works and delineates these works’ outstanding characteristics. The appendix contains a comprehensive bibliography of editions and studies relating to Barhebraeus, along with an updated list of the manuscripts of his works.

The true merit of this book is the detailed description of hundreds of manuscripts containing the works of Barhebraeus. The author personally gathered abundant data from these manuscripts, many of which were extremely difficult to obtain. They were found in the libraries of the near and middle east or in private collections. Many had never been catalogued. These efforts make this bibliography a true first in Syriac and Christian-Arabic prosopography, something which has been lacking in Syriac research. Two indexes (proper names, places, manuscripts) provide a first-rate research resource. They allow for full usage of the data of this exemplary bibliography on one of the most important authors of Syriac literature.

—Andrea Schmidt, Revue d’Histoire Ecclesiastique Vol. 2, #1, 2007

Hidemi Takahashi is currently a lecturer in the faculty of policy studies at Chuo University, Tokyo. He holds degrees in classical studies from the University of St. Andrews (MA) and the University of Tokyo (MLitt).

Christian and Muslim Dialogues: The Religious Uses of a Literary Form in the Early Islamic Middle East

  • Author: David Bertaina
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 297

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David Bertaina examines the history of discourse between Christians and Muslims in the Middle East, from the pre-Islamic period until the eve of the Crusades. Linked by a common geography and claim to the true religion, Eastern Christians and Muslims composed texts in the form of dialogues, in light of their encounters with one another. Bertaina surveys the development of this literary genre and how dialogues came to determine patterns of conversation. Each chapter highlights a thematic feature of the dialogue form, demonstrating that Christian and Muslim authors did not part ways in the first century of Islamic rule. Bertaina argues that Christians and Muslims integrated into the dominant Islamic culture in a symbiotic fashion, articulating an explicit identity while simultaneously incorporating the realities of religious pluralism into their communities.

Christian and Muslim Dialogues: The Religious Uses of a Literary Form in the Early Islamic Middle East is an informative book which meaningfully contributes to the literature on the religious meanings of pre-modern interreligious dialogical production.

—Caterina Bori, Adamantius 19 (2013): 607

David Bertaina is associate professor of history at the University of Illinois at Springfield. He also taught at California State University, Chico. He eared his PhD in Semitic languages and literatures from the Catholic University of America.

Collection of Historical Documents in Relation with the Syriac Orthodox Community in the Late Period of the Ottoman Empire: The Register of Mardin MS 1006

  • Author: Iskandar Bcheiry
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 126

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In the Ottoman Empire, Syriac communities kept their own baptismal books, marriage, funeral, and other records, but not all these have survived. However, many Syriac records can still be found in various libraries, churches, and monasteries in the West and East—especially in Mardin, once the headquarters of the Syriac nation and their patriarchate. The Syriac Garšuni manuscript found in the Church of the 40 Martyrs in Mardin contains several lists of different subjects that go back to the late period of the Ottoman Empire. In this volume, these lists are published for the first time. Complete with annotations, the lists are an important historical source not only for Syriac communities, but also for the social, economic, cultural, and religious history of places in the Near East, during the nineteenth century.

Iskandar Bcheiry is also the author of Repentance and Fasting from an Ascetical Perspective: A Comparative Reading of Jacob of Serugh and an Unpublished Shortened Version of a Collection of Homilies by Severus of Antioch.

Common Heritage, Divided Communion: The Declines and Advances of Inter-Orthodox Relations from Chalcedon to Chambésy

  • Author: Kenneth F. Yossa
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 280

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Can a church division of fifteen centuries be brought to an end? In the early 1960s this question occupied the thoughts of a courageous and brilliant international group of theologians—bishops, priests, and laymen. These members of the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches sought to discover the truth behind the separation of the two bodies following the Council of Chalcedon (451), the so-called “Monophysite Schism.” The original inter-Orthodox ecumenical partners, and those who followed them in the course of four decades, have returned to the theological sources of the medieval Eastern Christian Fathers for their investigations. Armed with modern scholarship, they have objectively engaged the issues which caused and maintained the schism.

Far from an academic exercise, the ultimate goal of this work is to accomplish what only decades ago seemed impossible: to unite the Catholic and Orthodox church communions. Common Heritage, Divided Communion draws the reader into the odyssey of inter-Orthodox unity. Beginning with a review of life in early conciliar era Christian society, Kenneth F. Yossa discusses the key events leading to the convocation of Chalcedon, the ecclesial unraveling which followed it, and the success and failures in reunion efforts in the first millennium. Projecting to the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries, this book engages and evaluates the inter-Orthodox efforts of mutual ecumenical cooperation and understanding—and the challenges which continue in the work of Christian rapprochement and reconciliation.

Kenneth F. Yossa lectures in religion at Excelsior College. He received his MA in Theology (Church History) from Seton Hall University, and his doctorate in Religious Studies (Systematic Theology) from Marquette University. He has lectured at Marquette, Franciscan University, Dickinson College and the Catholic University of Louvain. His ongoing research interests include ecclesiology, liturgy, ecumenism, and the interface of science and religion.

Cyriacus of Tagrit and his Book on Divine Providence, vol. 1&2

  • Author: Mikael Oez
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 815

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Cyriacus of Tagrit was patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch between 793 and 817 under the Abbasid Caliphate—a turbulent and divided period in the history of his church in the Middle East. Mikael Oez compiles all of his extant and accessible writings, providing annotated English translations. Oez contextualizes and analyzes Cyriacus’ concerns and priorities—both theological and ecclesio-political—on the basis of this editorial work, and making use of all other available historical sources.

Oez pays particular attention to Cyriacus’ major composition, The Book on Divine Providence, which explores such issues as the consequences of human free will and divine omniscience and omnipotence; the causes of evil; the influence of fates, fortune, and astrology; whether the time of an individual’s death is predetermined; the fate of the soul after death; and the evidence of the working of divine providence throughout history.

Mikael Oez is a lecturer in Eastern and Orthodox Christianity and Syriac studies at the department of the study of religions, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

Deification in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition: A Biblical Perspective

  • Author: Stephen Thomas
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 220

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Stephen Thomas brings together the best of contemporary exegesis with the tradition of Eastern Christianity, illustrating the biblical roots of the Eastern Church’s understanding of grace as the energy of God. His text discusses grace as a transforming experience which exalts the Christian to a state in which sharing in the divine life is possible—first as a pledge in this earthly life, then in paradise and at last in a glorious body at the final resurrection. The book a framework for a twenty-first-century Orthodox biblical theology. It will be of interest to all Christians for whom the Bible is divine revelation and for whom tradition continues to be creative.

Stephen Thomas was senior lecturer in Christian theology, Canterbury Christ Church University. He holds degrees from Oxford and London Universities and has a doctorate from Durham University, England. He is also the author of Newman and Heresy, and has written numerous articles on the relationship of theology to philosophy and on conscience in Orthodox thought.

Divine Contingency: Theologies of Divine Embodiment in Maximos the Confessor and Tsong kha pa

  • Author: Thomas Cattoi
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 321

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This work explores the similarities and differences between the idea of divine embodiment developed by Maximos the Confessor (580–662)—one of the greatest Greek Fathers—and Tsong kha pa (1357–1419)—perhaps the most important thinker in the history of Tibetan Buddhism. Thomas Cattoi explores how a comparison between Maximos’ participatory ontology and Tsong kha pa’s construal of Buddhahood illumines the Chalcedonian understanding of incarnation, and helps us articulate a Christocentric theology of religions that appreciates the value of religious difference.

Thomas Cattoi is assistant professor of Christology and cultures at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, which is part of the Graduate Theological Union. He holds degrees in economics and philosophy from Oxford and London Universities, as well as a PhD in systematic theology from Boston College. His main interests are in the fields of Greek Patristics and Tibetan Buddhism.

East and West: Essays on Byzantine and Arab Worlds in the Middle Ages

  • Editors: Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala, Vassilios Christides, and Theodoros Papadopoullos
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 368

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This text contains 24 contributions dealing with Byzantine and Oriental lands, their peoples, and their cultures through different perspectives. Contributors address issues in history, economics, literature, travelers, and artistic works. The text traces the history of the relations between the Greeks and the peoples of the Middle East from late antiquity up to the seventeenth century. The essays are eloquently argued, and present clear readings of texts. An extensive bibliography is included with each contribution.

Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala is professor in semitic studies in the faculty of arts, University of Córdoba. He has published studies of religious texts from early Islam and Christian-Arabia.

Vassilios Christides earned his PhD from Princeton University. He was a research fellow at University of Oklahoma and Princeton University, and has taught at many universities including New York College, Athens, Universtity of La Verne, Athens, University of Cyprus, University of Ioannina, Columbia University, and University of Minnesota.

Theodoros Papadopoullos is also the author of Texts and Studies in the History of Cyprus, Studies and Documents Relating to the History of the Greek Church and People Under Turkish Domination, and Contributions to the Comparative Study of African Cultures.

Eastern Crossroads: Essays on Medieval Christian Legacy

  • Editor: Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 430

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This volume contains papers from the First International Congress on Eastern Christianity held in Córdoba, Spain, November 2005.

The contributions in this volume address ecclesiastical history, theology, exegesis, as well as literature, cultural contacts, manuscript tradition and transmission, and linguistics. One of the most important political changes in the Middle Ages was the rise of Islam and the subsequent arrival of Islamic power, and these events are reflected ideologically in many of the contributions. Collectively, the studies gathered in the present volume constitute surveys of particular areas of Christiana and they investigate several issues in the transmission of Christian culture, mainly in Arabic, Greek, and Syriac, but also in Latin. Contributors include Samir Khalil Samir, Juan Nadal Cañellas, Clare E. Wilde, Ángel Urbán Fernández, Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala, Massimo Pazzini, Francisco del Río Sánchez, and Sofía Torallas Tovar.

Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala is professor in Semitic studies in the faculty of arts, University of Córdoba. He has published studies of religious texts from early Islam and Christian-Arabia. He is currently working on the edition and study of Christian-Arabic manuscripts.

Jacob of Serugh and His Times: Studies in Sixth-Century Syriac Christianity

  • Editor: George Anton Kiraz
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 264

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This volume contains a collection of studies on the Syriac sixth-century writer, Jacob of Sarug. Contributions were written by a team of international scholars including Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Sebastian P. Brock, Sharbil Iskandar Bcheiry, Khalid Dinno, Sidney Griffith, Mary Hansbury, Amir Harrak, George A. Kiraz, and Lucas Van Rompay. These papers were presented on the occasion of the 50 year celebration of the establishment of St. Mark’s Syrian Orthodox Cathedral in Teaneck, New Jersey.

George Anton Kiraz is the founder and director of Beth Mardutho: The Syriac Institute, and the president of Gorgias Press. He earned an MSt in Syriac Studies from Oxford University, and an MPhil and PhD from Cambridge University. He has an extensive list of publications in Syriac studies.

Kassia the Nun in Context: The Religious Thought of a Ninth-Century Byzantine Monastic

  • Author: Kurt Sherry
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 160

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Kassia the Nun offers a unique glimpse into ninth-century Byzantium as the only woman whose works were included in the corpus of liturgical hymns. This volume explores Kassia’s thought on Christology, on gender, and on monasticism itself. Kurt Sherry’s analysis provides readers with an opportunity to know this woman of remarkable intellect, wit, and piety by drawing primarily on her own words. He critically examines the most famous vignette of her life: a heated exchange of wits with the Emperor Theophilos. Sherry examines the way Kassia articulated the partisan theology of the iconophiles. Kassia’s is one of the only female voices from ninth-century Byzantium and this volume accordingly examines her reflections on gender in the context of her society and concludes that she represents a perspective that might be described as feminist.

Kurt Sherry earned his MA in history and religious studies from the University of Wyoming.

Malphono w-Rabo d-Malphone: Studies in Honor of Sebastian P. Brock

  • Editor: George Anton Kiraz
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 896

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This volume was prepared as a Festschrift for Sebastian P. Brock, a recognized leader in the field of Syriac studies. It contains 34 essays from a variety of scholars across the discipline—the studies reflect the broad scope of Brock’s professional and intellectual interests, his many years of friendship with colleagues, and his devotion and commitment to training a new generation of academics. Contributions are in English, French, and German, and are made by scholars from the United States, Europe, and Asia. The breadth of the submissions illustrates the multiplicity of approaches taken in contemporary Syriac studies, and while no overall limitations were set for the contributions, a lively interest in Jacob of Serug remains evident. No scholar in this discipline will want to miss this important collection that represents the latest in serious exploration of the world of Eastern Christianity in late antiquity. In addition to the essays, a bibliography of Sebastian Brock’s works, and two appreciations complete this noteworthy volume.

George Anton Kiraz is the founder and director of Beth Mardutho: The Syriac Institute, and the president of Gorgias Press. He earned an MSt in Syriac Studies from Oxford University, and an MPhil and PhD from Cambridge University. He has an extensive list of publications in Syriac studies.

Manuscrits Syriaques Conservés dans la Bibliothèque des Maronites d’Alep (Syrie)

  • Author: Francisco del Río Sánchez
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 190

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This French-language catalogue offers the first detailed record and description of the 134 Syriac manuscripts belonging to the Maronite Library of Aleppo. The material is helpfully categorized according to the manuscript’s particular area of concern: Bible, grammars and dictionaries, miscellany and liturgy. The book also includes 48 images and full indices of titles, personal names, subjects and places.

Francisco del Río Sánchez is assistant professor in the department of Semitic studies at Barcelona University. He holds an MSt degree in Semitic Languages from the Complutense University of Madrid and a PhD from the Oriental Institute of Rome. He has written extensively in the field of Semitics, Arabic, and Aramaic.

Manuscrits en arabe karšuni conservés dans la bibliothèque des Maronites d’Alep (Syrie)

  • Author: Francisco del Río Sánchez
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 288

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This book is the second part of a comprehensive work of classification and identification of the Maronite manuscripts of Aleppo. This volume offers the first detailed record and description of the 250 Arabic-Karshuni manuscripts. The material is helpfully categorized according to the area of particular concern to each work: Bible, commentaries, Patristic works, theology and spirituality, philosophy, science and history, controversies and apologies, councils and law, hagiographies, synaxaries, homilies and rituals. The book is in French and includes 100 images.

Francisco del Río Sánchez is assistant professor in the department of Semitic studies at Barcelona University. He holds an MSt degree in Semitic Languages from the Complutense University of Madrid and a PhD from the Oriental Institute of Rome. He has written extensively in the field of Semitics, Arabic, and Aramaic.

Redefining History on Pre-Islamic Accounts: The Arabic Recension of the Martyrs of Najrân

  • Author: Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 130

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This volume contains a comparative study of the contents and structure of the tragic events which took place in the South Arabian city of Najran as they were narrated in the Arabic MS Sinaitic Arabic 535—the most important of the Arabic witnesses to the martyrs of Najran. Until the discovery of this text, the martyrs of Najran has only been known through the Greek and the Syriac textual tradition. This original analysis of the Arabic account, with a comparative scope provides information about the most important details and identifies the original text from which the Arabic version was made.

Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala is professor in Semitic studies in the faculty of arts, University of Córdoba. He has published studies of religious texts from early Islam and Christian-Arabia. He is currently working on the edition and study of Christian-Arabic manuscripts.

Studies on Jacob of Edessa

  • Editors: Gregorios Ibrahim and George Anton Kiraz
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 159

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Jacob of Edessa was a seventh-century polymath who witnessed the coming of Islam. In this collection of papers, specialists discuss the life and works of this literary figure with emphasis on the cultural landscape of the seventh century. Contributors include Sebastian P. Brock, Richard Price, Andreas Juckel, Alison Salvesen, Theresia Hainthaler, Amir Harrak, Aho Shemunkasho, and Khalid Dinno.

Gregorios Ibrahim is archbishop of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch in Aleppo, Syria.

George Anton Kiraz is the founder and director of Beth Mardutho: The Syriac Institute, and the president of Gorgias Press. He earned an MSt in Syriac Studies from Oxford University, and an MPhil and PhD from Cambridge University. He has an extensive list of publications in Syriac studies.

Syriac and Antiochian Exegesis and Biblical Theology for the 3rd Millennium

  • Editor: Robert D. Miller
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 296

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As a possible solution to the impasse between theology and exegesis, contributors explore the potential insights provided by a distinct interpretive tradition of the the patristic School of Antioch and in the Syriac Fathers, such as Ephrem and Jacob of Sarug. Some of the essays have a patristic focus, examining Aphrahat, Ephrem, the fourth-century Book of Steps, John Chrysostom, and other Syriac fathers. Others scholars engage with modern historical-critical method more directly, and challenge the very assumption assumed by other contributors of an Antiochene “School.” The volume concludes with a series of responses from Paul Russell, Robert Miller, and Ronald Beshara, respectively, that consider the various essays from different angles.

Robert D. Miller is associate professor of Old Testament and biblical studies area director at the Catholic University of America.

Syriac Christianity in the Middle East and India: Contributions and Challenges

  • Editor: Dietmar W. Winkler
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 182

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This volume from the Pro Oriente Studies in Syriac Tradition acknowledges the contributions of Syriac Christians in the fields of culture, education, and civil society throughout the history in the Middle East and India. It also examines the challenges of living and professing the Christian faith as a minority in a multi-religious and pluralistic society—giving special attention to religious freedom and personal status. The text deals with the experience of Christians and Muslims living together in the modern Middle East, and with the Christians and Hindus in India. The book also elaborates the vital problem of continuous movement of Christians away from India and the Middle East.

Dietmar W. Winkler is professor of patristic studies and ecclesiastical history, as well as director of the Mayr-Melnhof Institute for Eastern Christian Studies, at the University of Salzburg, Austria.

Syriac Churches Encountering Islam: Past Experiences and Future Perspectives

  • Editor: Dietmar W. Winkler
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 265

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This volume from the Pro Oriente Studies in Syriac Tradition includes the papers of the first Pro Oriente Colloquium Syriacum, which took place in Salzburg/Austria and concentrated on the Syriac Churches’ experiences with Islam throughout history. Contributors examine the Four Caliphs, the Umayyad, Abbasid, and Ottoman periods, as well as the Indian experience. The book includes contributions by Sidney Griffith, Mor Gregorios Y. Ibrahim, Mar Mikhael al-Jamil, Karam Risk, Baby Varghese, Dietmar W. Winkler, and Joseph Yacoub.

Dietmar W. Winkler is professor of patristic studies and ecclesiastical history, as well as director of the Mayr-Melnhof Institute for Eastern Christian Studies, at the University of Salzburg, Austria.

Syriac Literature: An English Translation of La Littérature Syriaque

  • Author: Rubens Duval
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 388

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Despite having been written over a century ago, the 3rd edition of Rubens Duval’s History of Syriac Literature remains one of the best—and most readable—introductions to Syriac literature. This edition provides the first English translation of the work, translated by Olivier Holmey. Part I of this text deals with Syriac literature by genre, and part II provides a chronological overview of Syriac authors. This English edition also includes an index of names.

Rubens Duval (1839–1911) was a French orientalist and specialist of Aramaic.

The Account of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Yuanun Bar Šay Allah (1483–1492): The Syriac Manuscript of Cambridge: DD.3.8(1)

  • Author: Iskandar Bcheiry
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 88

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This volume provides an analysis of a late fifteenth-century document, a previously unpublished narration of the life and accomplishments of Yuanun Bar Šay Allah, a fifteenth-century Syriac Orthodox Patriarch. This biographical account is part of a Syriac manuscript found in Cambridge University Library, with the shelf mark DD.3.8(1). It contains, as its main subject, the Ecclesiastic History of Bar Hebraeus. It includes considerable unique historical information, shedding light on the history of the Syriac community in relation to other communities. It also supplies descriptions of events that brought important changes to the Syriac Church in Mesopotamia, Syria and Egypt.

Iskandar Bcheiry is also the author of Repentance and Fasting from an Ascetical Perspective: A Comparative Reading of Jacob of Serugh and an Unpublished Shortened Version of a Collection of Homilies by Severus of Antioch.

The Bible in the Syriac Tradition (English Version)

  • Author: Sebastian P. Brock
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 188

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This volume offers a basic introduction to the various Syriac translations of the Bible, and the ways in which the translations were used in the Syriac tradition. This new edition has been brought up to date and the bibliography expanded. Brock offers an initial overview of the Syriac Bible, along with an exploration of how the Bible was passed down to us and problems of biblical translation in general. The different surviving Syriac translations are outlined, as well as biblical manuscripts, lectionaires, printed editions, and translations. Brock also includes a reception history of the Syriac Bible, covering the ways in which it has been interpreted, the commentary tradition, and its use in preaching, in liturgy, and in spirituality. An appendix offers some comparative samples.

This book is extremely valuable because it lays out the biblical traditions of the Syrian Christians, traditions that are not so familiar to many biblical scholars who are trained in Greek and Hebrew and who study traditions west of Edessa. Brock presents us with a handy overview of what the Syrian Christians were reading, and how it is different from other bibles in the ancient world.

—April DeConick, Isla Carroll and Percy E. Turner Professor of Biblical Studies, Rice University

Sebastian P. Brock was born in 1938 and studied classics and oriental studies at Cambridge University before earning his DPhil at Oxford University. He has taught at the Universities of Birmingham, Cambridge, and Oxford, where he was reader in Syriac studies. He published extensively in the field of Syriac and edited a number of new texts.

The Christian Heritage of Iraq: Collected Papers from the Christianity of Iraq I–V Seminar Days

  • Editor: Erica C. D. Hunter
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 324

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Iraq has been a center of Syriac Christianity for almost 2,000 years. From its beginnings in the second century through the twenty-first century, Christianity has had a significant religious profile in Iraq, enriching the culture of Mesopotamia from where its influence extended into surrounding regions. This volume collects papers from the Christianity in Iraq I–V Seminar Days (2004–2008). Scholars explore the heritage and contribution of Syriac Christianity to Iraq, highlighting its innate ability to transcend barriers of language, culture, ethnicity and religion.

Papers are organized into four major sections. The first probes exchanges with the Muslim world in the Ummayid and Abbasid era. The second section investigates the legacy of monasticism that continues, albeit tenaciously, to the present day. The remarkable outreach program of The Church of the East in Central Asia that introduced the Syriac Bible is the subject of the third section. Finally, the fourth section examines post-medieval responses following the ravages of the fourteenth century, which essentially confined Syriac Christianity to northern Mesopotamia.

Erica C.D. Hunter is senior lecturer in Eastern Christianity, department for the study of religions, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She is the organizer of the highly successful annual Christianity in Iraq Seminar Days.

The Demonstrations of Aphrahat, the Persian Sage

  • Author: Adam Lehto
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 592

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One of the first major Syriac authors, Aphrahat, wrote his Demonstrations in the middle of the long reign of Shapur II. His intended readers were the so-called covenanters, representing a native Syriac form of ascetic life. Demonstrations is a mix of practical guidance, polemic against the Jewish community, and occasional exhortations to the Persian Church as a whole, all saturated with biblical exegesis. His work is unique because it represents a worldview that is only marginally Hellenized, much closer to its Jewish roots than most other forms of Christianity in his day.

Demonstrations offers a wealth of material for understanding forms of Christian thought and life that developed in Persia more strongly linked with Judaism than the Greek and Latin spheres. Lehto provides information on the historical context, English translations of the Demonstrations, and a framework to help readers understand the text.

Adam Lehto earned his PhD from the University of Toronto. He teaches history of religion courses at the University of Toronto, Mississauga.

The Forgotten Bishops: The Malabar Independent Syrian Church and its Place in the Story of the St. Thomas Christians of South India

  • Author: John Fenwick
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 652

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Today the Malabar Independent Syrian Church is one of the smallest jurisdictions of the St. Thomas Christian community. However, it has played a crucial role in the development of the Syrian Churches. This volume shows how the bishops of this tiny, one-Diocese Church, once stood at the center of the events that shaped the present ecclesiastical situation.

Drawing on previously undiscovered manuscripts preserved at Thozhiyur in the former British Malabar, and others at Oxford, Birmingham, and the British Library, The Forgotten Bishops tells the story of the impact of a delegation headed by the Maphrian of the Syrian Orthodox Church reaching Kerala in 1751. This resulted in a small monastic community that would become a major “bridgehead” for the introduction of West Syrian usage into India. Contrary to prevailing opinion, this identity was reinforced by the arrival of Anglican missionaries in 1816, and by two powerful members of the Palakunnathu dynasty—Abraham Malpan and Mathews Mar Athanasios. The findings challenge the way the main communities in Kerala (Catholic, Syrian Orthodox, Malankara Orthodox, and Mar Thoma) are accustomed to tell their stories.

John Fenwick earned his PhD from King’s College, London University. He lectured in Christian worship and church history at Trinity College, Bristol. He was also assistant secretary for ecumenical affairs to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Holy Spirit in the Syrian Baptismal Tradition

  • Author: Sebastian P. Brock
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 216

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The Holy Spirit in the Syrian Baptismal Tradition is a sensitive and evocative treatment of the role of the Holy Spirit in worship. With a keen awareness of the tradition of Syrian Christianity, Brock begins his exploration with the concept of ruha d-qudsha and the role of the Holy Spirit in the Syriac Bible. Imagery used for the Spirit includes that of a compassionate mother, fire, olive oil, as well as the more common image of a dove.

Next, Brock considers the various sources of the imagery including the East Syrian/Chaldean; Syrian Orthodox and Catholic; Maronite and Melkite traditions. He also summarizes commentaries and other Syriac literature on the rite of baptism. Considering the vehicle and nature of the gifts of the Spirit, Brock provides the distinctive fullness of this concept for readers in these traditions. The study includes a discussion of the invocation over the water and oil, and their symbolism of the Spirit, as well as the Holy Spirit in the Eucharistic setting and in regard to the Virgin Mary. Baptism and Pentecost are compared, and the study concludes with the role of anointing in the post-baptismal life of the Christian.

Sebastian P. Brock was born in 1938 and studied classics and oriental studies at Cambridge University before earning his DPhil at Oxford University. He has taught at the Universities of Birmingham, Cambridge, and Oxford, where he was reader in Syriac studies. He published extensively in the field of Syriac and edited a number of new texts.

The Influence of Origen on the Young Augustine: A Chapter of the History of Origenism

  • Author: György Heidl
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 342

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The Influence of Origen on the Young Augustine provides a new and unprecedented analysis of Augustine’s early career, including his celebrated conversion and the theology of his early writings. György Heidl reinterprets Augustine’s early accounts of his conversion and comes to a conclusion which runs counter to the general scholarly view. He argues that as early as the first phase of Augustine’s activity (386–393 AD), he made use of some Origenian works and basic elements of his early theology were derived from the Alexandrian master. The author provides an analysis of Augustine’s first exegetical work, De genesi contra manichaeos, and argues for the possibility that a Latin compilation of Origen’s understanding of Genesis existed and was used by Latin authors of the fourth century.

This book amply fulfils its promise of opening up a new chapter in the history of the reception of Origen’s thought.

—Joseph W. Trigg, Journal of Early Christian Studies

György Heidl is associate professor in history of aesthetics at the University of Pécs, Hungary. He studies and teaches the theology and exegesis of the Church Fathers and translates their works into Hungarian.

The Initiatory Process in the Byzantine Tradition: Texts in Translation from Early Manuscripts of the Euchology and Typikon of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople

  • Author: Byron David Stuhlman
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 206

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Christian initiation Eastern Orthodox liturgies involved more than just the rite of baptism. The classical texts provide for admission of catechumens (with special rites for children), admission to candidacy, lessons for instruction during Lent, exorcisms, the rite of apotaxis and syntaxis on Good Friday, and baptism and chrismation at the Easter Vigil.

This book provides English translations of all these texts, with brief commentary, as well as the provisions for the consecration of chrism, for initiation at the other baptismal feasts in the Orthodox tradition, and special provisions for Easter week and its closure. The rites are as complete as those in the Western Rites of Initiation of Adults (RCIA). In addition, the provisions for children suggest a somewhat different baptismal journey than what is customary in the West. The book highlights the true Easter Vigil of the Orthodox Church.

Byron David Stuhlman is an Episcopal priest and author of Prayer Book Rubrics Expanded, Eucharistic Celebration, 1789-1979, and A Good and Joyful Thing: The Evolution of the Eucharistic Prayer.

The Platonic Theology of Ioane Petritsi

  • Author: Levan Gigineishvili
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 324

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Ioane Petritsi was a twelfth-century Georgian philosopher, a student of the Constantinopolian philosophic school. Petritsi sought to initiate Neoplatonic studies at the Gelati monastic school established by King David IV the Builder, producing a translation and commentary on Proclus’ Elements of Theology—a comprehensive exposition of the entire Neoplatonic ontological system. This was the first complete translation of the work, at least 100 years earlier than the first Latin translation by William Moerbeke, commissioned by St. Thomas Aquinas. Petritsi’s translation required the creation of a philosophic language—a medium for transmitting the extravagant philosophic ideas into Georgian. In his original commentaries, Petritsi explains the intricacies of Proclus’ thought and tries to prove the basic affinity between the Platonic and the biblical traditions. This volume exposes the entire system of Petritsi’s thought upon a background of ideas on Proclus, other Neoplatonists, and the Church Fathers.

Levan Gigineishvili obtained his PhD at the Department of Medieval Studies of the Central European University, Budapest, in 2000. He is a graduate of the Higher Institute of Philosophy of Catholic University of Leuven and of Harvard University. He also studied classics at the Tbilisi State University. He has taught Byzantine literature at the Tbilisi State University and Georgian Literature at the American Academy in Tbilisi. Gigineishvili is an author of numerous articles on Petritsi and philosophic tradition in medieval Georgia.

The Spell of the Logos: Origen’s Exegetic Pedagogy in the Contemporary Debate regarding Logocentrism

  • Author: Mihai Vlad Niculescu
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 567

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The task of this study by Mihai Vlad Niculescu is twofold. First, he offers a detailed analysis of Origen’s understanding of exegesis as a liturgical attending to the Word’s evangelic advent in the Bible—a sort of textual redoubling of the incarnation. Next he addresses a recent concern regarding the totalizing potential of Origen’s Logos-centered reading of history as evangelic or Christian, discussing whether Origen’s exegetical spelling of the Word as universal Gospel can prevent the silencing of the speech of the Greek or the Jew outside of Christianity.

Mihai Vlad Niculescu is assistant professor of philosophy at Bradley University. His training includes a degree in classics and doctoral studies in patristic and contemporary continental philosophy. In a series of published articles Niculescu has proposed a critical-phenomenological interpretation of the thought of Greek Patristic authors such as Origen of Alexandria, the Cappadocians or Evagrius Ponticus.

The Syriac Orthodox Patriarchal Register of Dues of 1870: An Unpublished Historical Document from the Late Ottoman Period

  • Author: Iskandar Bcheiry
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 244

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This monograph presents a previously unpublished historical resource—a register of dues collected for the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate during the second half of the nineteenth century. The original document belongs to the archives of the Church of the 40 Martyrs in Mardin, Turkey, once the headquarters of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch. Bcheiry provides the original text, an English translation, and an extensive socio-economic study. In addition, he sheds light on the demographic and geographical realities of nineteenth century Ottoman history, specifically in South East Anatolia.

Iskandar Bcheiry is also the author of Repentance and Fasting from an Ascetical Perspective: A Comparative Reading of Jacob of Serugh and an Unpublished Shortened Version of a Collection of Homilies by Severus of Antioch.

The Two Syriac Versions of the Prayer of Manasseh

  • Authors: Ariel Gutman and Wido van Peursen
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 279

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“The Prayer of Manasseh,” a beautiful penitential prayer attributed to King Manasseh of Judah, has had a rich and complex textual history. There are two main versions: one appearing in the Peshitta and the Didascalia, and another in the Melkite Horologion. In this study, the authors present a detailed philological and linguistic comparison of these two versions. Combining state-of-the-art computational tools together with traditional philology they compare the texts at all linguistic levels, from their vocabulary to their discursive structure, with a special emphasis on their morphology and syntax. The results illuminate various debates pertaining to Syriac syntax. Questions of a methodological nature regarding textual comparison using qualitative and quantitative techniques are addressed as well. Together with the thorough text-historical and tradition-historical introduction, the book is a natural companion for anyone interested in this remarkable prayer, as well for anyone interested in Syriac linguistics, literature, and liturgy.

Ariel Gutman is a fellow of the Zukunftskolleg, at the University of Konstanz.

Wido van Peursen is also the author of Qumran Origins: Some Remarks on the Enochic/Essene Hypothesis and coauthor of Unit Delimitation and the Text of Ben Sira.

Vie de S. Macaire l’Egyptien: Edition et traduction des textes copte et syriaque

  • Author: Satoshi Toda
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 718

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Saint Macarius the Egyptian (c. 300–390) was one of the earliest monks in Egypt, whose virtue and spiritual exploits gave rise to various tales and sayings, preserved notably in the Apophthegmata patrum. Some 100 years later, his life was recounted anew in the form of hagiography, and was then diffused in various languages of the Christian Orient: Coptic, Syriac, Arabic, Ethiopic, Greek, Georgian, and so forth. It is extremely rare that such a multilingual tradition of a text is studied together in a detailed fashion—and this is precisely what is presented in this book. Accompanied by its Coptic and Syriac versions newly reedited, this book constitutes a multilingual edition of the Life of Macarius the Egyptian. In addition, this book also provides a commentary dealing with the “historical Macarius”, as well as with the Life seen as a literary work.

Product Details

  • Title: Gorgias Eastern Christian Studies Collection
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Volumes: 37
  • Pages: 11,592