"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, May 15, 2017

The New Testament in Byzantium

Derek Krueger, some of whose previous books I have noted on here, has recently co-edited a noteworthy collection of interest not just to scholars of Byzantium and the New Testament, but also to lectionary and liturgical scholars: Id., and Robert S. Nelson, eds., The New Testament in Byzantium (Dumbarton Oaks, 2016), 336pp.

About this book the publisher tells us:
The New Testament lay at the center of Byzantine Christian thought and practice. But codices and rolls were neither the sole way―nor most important way―the Byzantines understood the New Testament. Lectionaries apportioned much of its contents over the course of the liturgical calendar; its narratives structured the experience of liturgical time and shaped the nature of Christian preaching, throughout Byzantine history. A successor to The Old Testament in Byzantium (2010), this book asks: What was the New Testament for Byzantine Christians? What of it was known, how, when, where, and by whom? How was this knowledge mediated through text, image, and rite? What was the place of these sacred texts in Byzantine arts, letters, and thought?
Authors draw upon the current state of textual scholarship and explore aspects of the New Testament, particularly as it was read, heard, imaged, and imagined in lectionaries, hymns, homilies, saints’ lives, and as it was illustrated in miniatures and monuments. Framing theological inquiry, ecclesiastical controversy, and political thought, the contributions here help develop our understanding of the New Testament and its varied reception over the long history of Byzantium.

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