"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, October 28, 2013

Byzantine Liturgical Manuscripts

The Byzantine liturgist Peter Galadza has said more than once that in many respects the study of all things Eastern, including Eastern liturgics, is at least a century behind comparable Western scholarship. I do wonder, though, if perhaps things have moved rather more quickly in the move to catch up given the avalanche of books pouring forth in the last two decades covering everything from iconography to history, culture, and liturgics. In this latter category, we have a new collection to be released at month's end: Gerard Rouwhorst et al, eds., A Catalogue of Byzantine Manuscripts in Their Liturgical Context: Challenges and Perspectives. Collected Papers (Brepols, 2013, 350pp).

About this book we are told:
The world of Byzantine manuscripts is fascinating but also confusing. Although they play an important part in modern studies on the history of Christian liturgy and on the textual history of the Bible, a clear overview of the vast amount of these manuscripts in their many different forms is lacking. A new approach in their cataloguing is called for. The present volume brings together a number of specialists in the field of Byzantine, liturgical and Biblical studies with the aim to develop a new methodology for codicological research of the Byzantine manuscripts, taking seriously the original environment of the integral codices in the monasteries and the churches in which they were manufactured and functioned.

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