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Aphrahat the Persian Sage and the Temple of God

A Study of Early Syriac Theological Anthropology


Aphrahat the Persian Sage, (fl. 337-345 C.E.), was a Syriac Christian author who wrote twenty-three treatises entitled The Demonstrations. This book examines “temple” as a key image for Aphrahat’s theological anthropology. The temple is central for both Jews and Christians; it is the place of sacrifice, meeting, and communication with the Divine. For Aphrahat, the devout Christian person may be a micro-temple which then allows one to encounter the divine both within oneself and through a vision ascent to the heavenly temple.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0386-3
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Publication Status: In Print
Publication Date: Jun 18,2014
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 254
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0386-3
$91.00

Aphrahat the Persian Sage, (fl. 337-345 C.E.), was a Syriac Christian author who wrote twenty-three treatises entitled The Demonstrations. This book examines “temple” as a key image for Aphrahat’s theological anthropology. The temple is central for both Jews and Christians; it is the place of sacrifice, meeting, and communication with the Divine. The temple image is the lens through which the author examines various aspects of Aphrahat’s thought including: asceticism, sacramental theology, Christology, and ecclesiology. For Aphrahat, the devout Christian person may be a micro-temple which then allows one to encounter the divine both within oneself and through a vision ascent to the heavenly temple.

The community on earth is also somewhat a temple, however, Aphrahat writes more extensively about the individual person and the person’s relation with God. Aphrahat uses themes and ideas with ancient roots, including Merkabah traditions of the temple and applies these traditions to the Christian experience of God. His theological anthropology maintains that the human person is a creature made in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26). Because of the Lord’s self emptying in the incarnation (Phil 2:7), his follower may become a locus of the divine – a temple of God. The Lord’s kenosis allows for the theosis of the human. The person may then manifest the Spirit within, through love, humility, faith, and actions.

Aphrahat the Persian Sage, (fl. 337-345 C.E.), was a Syriac Christian author who wrote twenty-three treatises entitled The Demonstrations. This book examines “temple” as a key image for Aphrahat’s theological anthropology. The temple is central for both Jews and Christians; it is the place of sacrifice, meeting, and communication with the Divine. The temple image is the lens through which the author examines various aspects of Aphrahat’s thought including: asceticism, sacramental theology, Christology, and ecclesiology. For Aphrahat, the devout Christian person may be a micro-temple which then allows one to encounter the divine both within oneself and through a vision ascent to the heavenly temple.

The community on earth is also somewhat a temple, however, Aphrahat writes more extensively about the individual person and the person’s relation with God. Aphrahat uses themes and ideas with ancient roots, including Merkabah traditions of the temple and applies these traditions to the Christian experience of God. His theological anthropology maintains that the human person is a creature made in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26). Because of the Lord’s self emptying in the incarnation (Phil 2:7), his follower may become a locus of the divine – a temple of God. The Lord’s kenosis allows for the theosis of the human. The person may then manifest the Spirit within, through love, humility, faith, and actions.

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Contributor

Stephanie Jarkins

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Preface (page 7)
  • Acknowledgments (page 9)
  • Abbreviations (page 11)
  • Introduction (page 13)
  • Aphrahat and Temple (page 41)
  • The Ascetics (page 85)
  • Being a Temple (page 119)
  • The Sage "May" See God (page 151)
  • Conclusion (page 207)
  • Bibliography (page 215)
  • Index (page 241)
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