"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, March 31, 2017

Doctrine and Dissent in Late Antiquity

Ten years ago now, in an early book to advance the recognition that papal relations to the Christian East are much more complicated than apologists and polemicists on either side have recognized, Andrew Ekonomou, in Byzantine Rome and the Greek Popes: Eastern Influences on Rome and the Papacy from Gregory the Great to Zacharias, A.D. 590-752 drew our attention to prominent Byzantine figures working closely with popes of Rome to combat, e.g., monotheletism.

Since then, other authors, including George Demacopolous and Susan Wessel inter alia, have also helped us appreciate the complexity of papal relations both in the Western Church and between her and the East.

Later this year, a forthcoming paperback version of a book first published in 2013 from the University of California Press will advance and further explore this terrain, focusing on three important ascetic-monastic figures well known in the East: Phil Booth, Crisis of EmpireDoctrine and Dissent at the End of Late Antiquity (2017), 416 pages.

As the publisher tells us:
This book focuses on the attempts of three ascetics—John Moschus, Sophronius of Jerusalem, and Maximus Confessor—to determine the Church’s power and place during a period of profound crisis, as the eastern Roman empire suffered serious reversals in the face of Persian and then Islamic expansion. By asserting visions which reconciled long-standing intellectual tensions between asceticism and Church, these authors established the framework for their subsequent emergence as Constantinople's most vociferous religious critics, their alliance with the Roman popes, and their radical rejection of imperial interference in matters of the faith. Situated within the broader religious currents of the fourth to seventh centuries, this book throws new light on the nature not only of the holy man in late antiquity, but also of the Byzantine Orthodoxy that would emerge in the Middle Ages, and which is still central to the churches of Greece and Eastern Europe.
We are also given the table of contents:



1. Toward the Sacramental Saint
Ascetics and the Eucharist before Chalcedon
Cyril of Scythopolis and the Second Origenist Crisis
Mystics and Liturgists
Hagiography and the Eucharist after Chalcedon

2. Sophronius and the Miracles
Impresario of the Saints
Medicine and Miracle
Narratives of Redemption
The Miracles in Comparative Perspective

3. Moschus and the Meadow
The Fall of Jerusalem
Moschus from Alexandria to Rome
Ascetics and the City
Chalcedon and the Eucharist

4. Maximus and the Mystagogy
Maximus, Monk of Palestine
The Return of the Cross
The Mystagogy

5. The Making of the Monenergist Crisis
The Origins of Monenergism
The Heraclian Unions
Sophronius the Dissident

6. Jerusalem and Rome at the Dawn of the Caliphate
Sophronius the Patriarch
Jerusalem from Roman to Islamic Rule
The Year of the Four Emperors
From Operations to Wills
Maximus and the Popes

7. Rebellion and Retribution
Maximus from Africa to Rome
The Roman-Palestinian Alliance
Rebellion and Trial
Maximus in Exile

Primary Sources
Secondary Sources

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