"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).

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

No King But Christ: Christian Politics in Arabian Syria

Oxford University Press just sent me a copy of a new book:

Philip Wood, "We Have No King But Christ": Christian Political Thought in Greater Syria on the Eve of the Arab Conquest (c.400-585), xii+295pp.

This is the latest publication in Oxford's "Studies in Byzantium" series. The book originated as a doctoral dissertation under Dame Averil Cameron, professor of late antique and Byzantine history at Oxford.

The publisher provides the following blurb and table of contents:

Drawing on little-used sources in Syriac, once the lingua franca of the Middle East, Philip Wood examines how, at the close of the Roman Empire, Christianity carried with it new foundation myths for the peoples of the Near East that transformed their self-identity and their relationships with their rulers. This cultural independence was followed by a more radical political philosophy that dared to criticize the emperor and laid the seeds for the blending of religious and ethnic identity that we see in the Middle East today.
1: Classification in a Christian Empire
2: Controlling the Barbarians: The First Syrian Hagiographic Collection
3: Theories of Nations and the World of Late Antiquity
4: Edessa and Beyond: The Reception of the Doctrina Addai in the Fifth and Sixth Centuries
5: The Julian Romance
6: Creating Boundaries in the Miaphysite Movement
7: A Miaphysite Commonwealth
Look for We Have No King But Christ to be reviewed in Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies later this year.

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