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Bride of Blood, Bride of Light: Biblical Women as Images of Church in Jacob of Serug


This study seeks to address the common bridal imagery pervasive in ancient Syriac Christianity by asking how Jacob of Serug employed the presentation of biblical women in his homilies to serve as imagery for the Church.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-60724-050-1
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Series: Analecta Gorgiana 123
Publication Date: Apr 7,2009
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 32
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-60724-050-1
$37.00
$25.90

Jacob of Serug preached many homilies on different biblical stories, including some about important biblical women. This study seeks to address the common bridal imagery pervasive in ancient Syriac Christianity by asking how Jacob employed the presentation of biblical women to serve as imagery for the Church. The study begins by setting Jacob’s homilies into their ritual and performative contexts within the liturgy. Poetic techniques and rhetorical patterns are also considered. Because Jacob’s homilies served as important vehicles for biblical instruction, possible lectionary settings and related church ornamentation are discussed. In his narrations of very different biblical women, Jacob drew connections between them by means of his poetic craft, technical prowess, theological acumen, and ritual context. With vividly striking power, Jacob’s images of biblical women served as images for the Church, conjoining biblical past with ecclesial present as Jacob and his congregation sought to discern sacred meaning in their turbulent times.

Susan Ashbrook Harvey is a Professor of Religious Studies at Brown University. She received her B.A. degree in Classics from Grinnell College in Iowa, and her M.Litt. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Birmingham, England, in Byzantine History. She specializes in Syriac studies, early Christian history, and Christianity of the Byzantine and Syriac traditions.

Jacob of Serug preached many homilies on different biblical stories, including some about important biblical women. This study seeks to address the common bridal imagery pervasive in ancient Syriac Christianity by asking how Jacob employed the presentation of biblical women to serve as imagery for the Church. The study begins by setting Jacob’s homilies into their ritual and performative contexts within the liturgy. Poetic techniques and rhetorical patterns are also considered. Because Jacob’s homilies served as important vehicles for biblical instruction, possible lectionary settings and related church ornamentation are discussed. In his narrations of very different biblical women, Jacob drew connections between them by means of his poetic craft, technical prowess, theological acumen, and ritual context. With vividly striking power, Jacob’s images of biblical women served as images for the Church, conjoining biblical past with ecclesial present as Jacob and his congregation sought to discern sacred meaning in their turbulent times.

Susan Ashbrook Harvey is a Professor of Religious Studies at Brown University. She received her B.A. degree in Classics from Grinnell College in Iowa, and her M.Litt. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Birmingham, England, in Byzantine History. She specializes in Syriac studies, early Christian history, and Christianity of the Byzantine and Syriac traditions.

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Contributor Biography

Susan Harvey

Susan Ashbrook Harvey is the Willard Prescott and Annie McClelland Smith Professor of Religious Studies at Brown University. She has published extensively on Syriac and Byzantine Christianity, and has a particular interest in women and their representation in ancient Christianity.

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