Bible and Poetry in Late Antique Mesopotamia: Ephrem’s Hymns on Faith (Christianity in Late Antiquity #5) (Hardcover)

Bible and Poetry in Late Antique Mesopotamia: Ephrem’s Hymns on Faith (Christianity in Late Antiquity #5) By Jeffrey Wickes Cover Image
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Ephrem the Syrian was one of the founding voices in Syriac literature. While he wrote in a variety of genres, the bulk of his work took the form of madrashe, a Syriac genre of musical poetry or hymns. In Bible and Poetry in Late Antique Mesopotamia, Jeffrey Wickes offers a thoroughly contextualized study of Ephrem’s magnum opus, the Hymns on Faith, delivered in response to the theological controversies that followed the First Council of Nicaea. The ensuing doctrinal divisions had tremendous impact on the course of Christianity and led in part to the development of a uniquely Syriac Church, in which Ephrem would become a central figure. Drawing on literary, ritual, and performance theories, Bible and Poetry shows how Ephrem used the Syriac Bible to construct and conceive of himself and his audience. In so doing, Wickes resituates Ephrem in a broader early Christian context and contributes to discussions of literature and religion in late antiquity. 

About the Author

Jeffrey Wickes is Assistant Professor of Early Christianity at Saint Louis University. 

Praise For…

"Wickes is an astute guide through the often-heated scholarly debates about the relationship between Syriac and Greek, and about the place of Syriac Christianity in the eastern Mediterranean world. His command of the scholarship is as solid as his mastery of the texts; he is deft, incisive, and original in his discussions. This is work of exceptional substance and significance."
— Journal of Orthodox Christian Studies

"Bible and Poetry demonstrates once again the potential of Syriac literature to reshape and deepen our historiog-raphy of the formative centuries of Christianity."

— Journal of Early Christian Studies

"Wickes has guided the reader securely with a light through the labyrinthine paths and icons of Ephrem’s poetry, revealing the poet’s mind and personality, along with imaginative biblical landscapes and interpretations unparalleled in late antique Christian literature."

— Biblical Literature

"Wickes’s study contains many helpful and good insights into the way Ephrem works as a poet, interweaving different biblical allusions for a particular purpose, and also into the ways in which he relates himself and his audience to the biblical text."

— Journal of Theological Studies
Product Details
ISBN: 9780520302860
ISBN-10: 0520302869
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: September 17th, 2019
Pages: 226
Language: English
Series: Christianity in Late Antiquity