By Christine Shepardson
The politically embroiled and sharply divided Council of Nicaea (325) supplied a turbulent commencing to Christianity's fight for self-definition within the political area. Questions of final fact apart, those that might legally declare the name of Christian orthodoxy have been these whose teachings had the backing of the emperor's criminal and army authority. regardless of the concrete judgements of 325 and the ecumenical council's try to create an imperial orthodoxy, the many years that witnessed ongoing battles among these Christians who supported the council's final result and those that didn't. This ebook investigates the advanced anti-Jewish and anti-Judaizing rhetoric of Ephrem, a fourth-century poet, deacon, and theologian from jap Roman Syria whose Syriac-language writings stay strange and linguistically inaccessible to centuries of students who examine the well known Greek and Latin writings of his contemporaries. A severe interpreting of Ephrem's quite a few poetic writings demonstrates that his sharp anti-Jewish and anti-Judaizing language helped to solidify a pro-Nicene definition of Christian orthodoxy, removing from that neighborhood within the very act of defining it his so-called Judaizing and Arian Christian competitors, either one of whom he accused of being extra like Jews than Christians. via conscientiously crafted rhetoric, Ephrem developed for his viewers new social and theological parameters that reshaped the non secular panorama of his group. This ebook indicates that the anti-Jewish polemic of Ephrem's hymns represents his calculated efforts to depart his Syrian congregation with out potential replacement yet to comply to the Council of Nicaea, his personal version for Christian orthodoxy.Comparing Ephrem's texts with the modern Greek writings of Athanasius, the well known bishop of Alexandria, Christine Shepardson finds the numerous function that anti-Jewish rhetoric performed extra generally during this severe fourth-century theological clash, and demonstrates that long-ignored Syriac-speaking Christians corresponding to Ephrem participated totally within the fierce fight to outline Christian orthodoxy for the Roman Empire.
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Extra resources for Anti-Judaism and Christian Orthodoxy: Ephrem's Hymns in Fourth-century Syria (Patristic Monograph Series 20)
Meyer, eds. : The Catholic University of America Press, 1986), 22-52; "The Marks of the 'True Church' according to Ephraem's Hymns against Heresies," Legacy: in After Bardaisan: Studies on Continuity and Change in Syriac Christianity in Honour of Professor Han J. W. Drijvers, eds. G. J. Reinink and A. C. 999), 125-40; "Setting Right the Church of Syria: Saint Ephraem's Hymns against Heresies," in The Limits of R. A. Markus, of Ancient Christianity: Essays on Late Antique Thought and Culture in Honor eds.
32 D e f e n d i n g N i c a e a against J e w s & Judaizers troduces h o w in this one h y m n E p h r e m attempts to enforce Nicene behavior for a church congregation that appears to have h a d m o r e interaction with lo cal Jews than E p h r e m claims the Nicene decisions allow. In order to convey the urgency of his message, he uses different rhetorical tools to convey nega tive ideas about Jews and Judaism, and their relation to those in his audience, and to create a strong image of the depravity of contemporary Jews and the threat that they pose to his community.
Ephrem's rhetoric reflects Boyarin's observations regarding the imposition from above of clear borders onto what was on the ground a much more complex situation. See Daniel Boyarin, Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004). 32 D e f e n d i n g N i c a e a against J e w s & Judaizers troduces h o w in this one h y m n E p h r e m attempts to enforce Nicene behavior for a church congregation that appears to have h a d m o r e interaction with lo cal Jews than E p h r e m claims the Nicene decisions allow.
Anti-Judaism and Christian Orthodoxy: Ephrem's Hymns in Fourth-century Syria (Patristic Monograph Series 20) by Christine Shepardson