"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, November 8, 2021

The Glories of Syriac Christianity

In a recent review essay (about which more later) in the New York Review of Books, the eminent and venerable Peter Brown draws our attention to a forthcoming volume he praises highly: Invitation to Syriac Christianity: An Anthology, eds. M.P. Penn, Scott Johnson et al. (University of California Press, February 2022), 450pp.

About this book the publisher tells us this:

Despite their centrality to the history of Christianity in the East, Syriac Christians have generally been excluded from modern accounts of the faith. Originating from Mesopotamia, Syriac Christians quickly spread across Eurasia, from Turkey to China, developing a distinctive and influential form of Christianity that connected empires. These early Christians wrote in the language of Syriac, the lingua franca of the late ancient Middle East, and a dialect of Aramaic, the language of Jesus. Collecting key foundational Syriac texts from the second to the fourteenth centuries, this anthology provides unique access to one of the most intriguing, but least known, branches of the Christian tradition.

Incidentally, I interviewed one of the editors, Scott Johnson, here about an earlier publication. 

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