"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).

Monday, June 14, 2021

Church Architecture in Mesopotamia

Is there such a thing as Syrian Orthodox church architecture? Is there such a thing for any Christian tradition? If so, are such traditions stable across time, or if they change what does that tell us? These are other questions are up for review in a forthcoming book that looks at ecclesial buildings in antique Mesopotamia: Church Architecture of Late Antique Northern Mesopotamia by Elif Keser Kayaalp (Oxford UP, November 2021), 304pp. + 96 b/w + 16 colour illustrations. About this book the publisher tells us this:

Church Architecture of Late Antique Northern Mesopotamia examines the church architecture of Northern Mesopotamia between the fourth and eighth centuries. Keser Kayaalp draws attention to several aspects ranging from the small scale to the large, focusing on settlements, the variety of plan types, the remarkable continuity of the classical tradition in the architectural decoration, the heterogeneity of the building techniques, patrons, imperial motivations, and stories that claim and make spaces. Employing archaeological and epigraphical material and hagiographical and historical sources, a holistic picture of the church architecture of this frontier region emerges, encompassing the cities of Nisibis (Nusaybin), Edessa (Şanlıurfa), Amida (Diyarbakır), Anastasiopolis (Dara/ Oğuz), Martyropolis (Silvan), Constantia (Viranşehir), and the rural Ṭur'Abdin region. The period covered spans the last centuries of Byzantine and the first century and a half of Arab rule, when the region was, on the one hand, a stage of war and riven by religious controversies, and on the other, a dynamic space of cultural interaction. Keser Kayaalp provides a regional contribution to the study of the transformation that the Byzantine civilisation underwent in the late antique period, and assesses the continuities and changes after the Arab conquest in pursuit of discovering whether one can talk about a church architecture in this period that is specific to the Syrian Orthodox.

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...