"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Friday, May 15, 2020

Byzantine Liturgical Emotions

It seems to me that it may have been Susan Ashbrook Harvey's 2006 book Scenting Salvation: Ancient Christianity and the Olfactory Imagination that started this century's ongoing interest in the role of the senses, the corporeal, and the emotional within Eastern Christian studies. Along comes a new book expanding this ever-growing picture for us of embodied life in the Christian, especially Byzantine, East: Andrew Mellas, Liturgy and the Emotions in Byzantium: Compunction and Hymnody (Cambridge University Press, Aug. 2020), 222pp.

About this book the publisher tells us this:
This book explores the liturgical experience of emotions in Byzantium through the hymns of Romanos the Melodist, Andrew of Crete and Kassia. It reimagines the performance of their hymns during Great Lent and Holy Week in Constantinople. In doing so, it understands compunction as a liturgical emotion, intertwined with paradisal nostalgia, a desire for repentance and a wellspring of tears. For the faithful, liturgical emotions were embodied experiences that were enacted through sacred song and mystagogy. The three hymnographers chosen for this study span a period of nearly four centuries and had an important connection to Constantinople, which forms the topographical and liturgical nexus of the study. Their work also covers three distinct genres of hymnography: kontakion, kanon and sticheron idiomelon. Through these lenses of period, place and genre this study examines the affective performativity hymns and the Byzantine experience of compunction.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anonymous comments are never approved. Use your real name and say something intelligent.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...