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e-Gorgias (Issue 78, August 2014)


Issue 78
August 2014
Reading Time: 10 minutes

We hope you enjoy a sampling (photo at right) of the summer foliage outside our New Jersey office.

This month has held many academic opportunities for Gorgias Press affiliates. Beth Mardutho (a non-profit institute also established by the president of Gorgias Press) is holding two intensive summer Syriac courses, and a Gorgias Press author, Jan Joosten, was appointed by the Queen of England to a new teaching post. For more information about both of these exciting events, see the News section. Also, we are thrilled to feature Jan Joosten as our Enthusiast of the Month.

As always, we hope you are aware of our deal on the Antioch Bible.

Happy reading!


  • Recently Released
  • Coming Soon
  • From the Acquisitions Desk
  • Enthusiast of the Month: Jan Joosten
  • News
  • Conference Report

Below is a select list of recent releases. As we mentioned last month, Gorgias Press has just begun to release a number of titles in paperback. Although these are not brand new books, these recently released books are new to this format! For the complete list of recent releases, please visit our Just Published page.

The United Holy Church of America
By William C. Turner & Jr.

ISBN 978-1-59333-362-1
 Paperback, $33.74 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $30.37)

This project was inspired by years of nurture and ministry in the church upon which the study focuses. With roots going back to the historic African American Church, it offers a window into early growth, the development of crucial theological positions, institutional development within the American Church of the twentieth century, and emerging patterns for worldwide Christianity in the twenty-first century. The struggle within this project is against a background of misunderstanding. Given the pejorative biases in earlier studies against African American Christianity in general, and Holiness-Pentecostalism in particular, a contest is under way for placement within the appropriate taxonomy.


Ritual Dynamic Structure
By Roy E. Gane

ISBN 978-1-4632-0400-6
 Paperback, $53.04 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $47.74)

The present work takes up the neglected quest for a theory of ritual and methodology of analysis that recognizes and traces the contours of ritual dynamic structure. The resulting fresh approach provides a controlled framework for interpreting rituals belonging to various cultures and for identifying bases of comparison between them. The first part builds a theory and definition of ritual and a corresponding methodology for analyzing specific rituals in terms of their activities and the meanings attached to those activities. The second part illustrates this methodology and its usefulness for comparative studies by applying it to ceremonies of cult purification in the ancient Near East.


Midrash and Legend
By Joshua L. Moss

ISBN 978-1-4632-0396-2
 Paperback, $72.67 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $65.40)

This study applies form criticism to the stories of the earliest rabbinic midrashim. The results shed light on the literary personalities of the individual midrash collections and the relationships of transmission in the tradition. These stories are of particular interest from an inter-religious and comparative literary point of view because New Testament studies have often referred to certain narratives in the gospels as "midrashic." The author sets forth, in positive terms, an understanding of what functions historical anecdotes serve in the tannaitic midrashim, along with a catalogue of the rhetorical conventions used to fulfill those functions.


Healing in the Theology of Saint Ephrem
By Aho Shemunkasho

ISBN 978-1-4632-0390-0
 Paperback, $55.84 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $50.26)

Ephrem, the most celebrated writer of the Syriac Church, presents a wide range of theological themes and images that are characteristic of fourth-century Syrian Christianity. A significant theme that no one has yet studied in Ephrem is the concept of sickness and healing. This book presents the significance of healing theology and the ways in which the healing of man - spiritually, mentally, and corporally - is highly valued by Ephrem. The main part of the book deals with the causes of spiritual sickness and the process of healing, and the way in which Ephrem places them in the divine history of salvation.


Here is a select list of forthcoming publications. Click here for a complete list.

Self and Other By Kate V. M. Daniels
Self and Other explores the complex dynamic between the individual and the collectivity, narrative and identity that define the short fiction of Yūsuf al-Shārūnī, pioneer of Arab literary modernism. With a range of translated extracts, Kate V.M. Daniels offers English-speaking readers an invaluable introduction to one of Egypt's greatest short story-writers.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0409-9, Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $85.50)

Jacob of Sarug’s Homilies on Jesus' Temptation Fascicle 33: Edited and Translated by Adam Carter McCollum
This volume presents, with introduction and annotations, two metrical homilies (Bedjan nos. 82, 126) of Jacob of Sarug in which he reflects on the Temptation of Jesus as combat between Satan and Jesus, the latter emerging as the humble victor.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0285-9, Paperback, $55.64 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $50.08)

Travels to Jerusalem and Mount Athos By Petre Konchoshvili; Translated by Mzia Ebanoidze & John Wilkinson
An account by Archpriest Petre Konchoshvili of his travels to Jerusalem and Mount Athos in 1899, dealing with the relations between the Georgians, Greeks and Russians in the Holy Land.
ISBN 978-1-61143-942-7, Hardback, $85 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $76.50)

Who is afraid of the rhētōr? By Yosef Z. Liebersohn
This book concentrates on the conversation between Socrates and Gorgias which takes place in the first part of Plato's Gorgias. Scholars have tended to concentrate on the following two conversations held by Socrates with Polus and, especially, with Callicles. This first, relatively short, conversation is usually taken to be a kind of preface coming before Plato's 'real' philosophy. The present study challenges this assumption, arguing that the conversation between Socrates and Gorgias actually anticipates the message of the whole dialogue, which concerns the essence of rhetoric and its implications.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0258-3, Hardback, $169 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $152.10)

This month we’re pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of books in the fields of Eastern Christianity, Syriac manuscript studies, and linguistics, as well as one more volume in the Antioch Bible set:

The Life and Works of Severus of Antioch in the Coptic and Copto-Arabic Tradition, by Youhanna Youssef, contains twenty-four articles in the fields of Coptic and Copto-Arabic patristics and liturgy, investigating the life of Severus of Antioch and the veneration of this saint in the Coptic Church.

Earlier this year, we published Volume 1 of An East Syrian Manuscript of the Syriac ‘Masora’ Dated to 899 CE, a facsimile reproduction of BL Add. MS 12138, prepared by Jonathan Loopstra. The second volume, comprising an introduction and comprehensive lists of all scriptural sample texts and marginal notes, is now in production. Add. MS 12138 is a treasure trove of information concerning the development of Syriac diacritical markings, vocalization, accentuation, and East Syrian biblical interpretation, making it a valuable resource for students and scholars of Syriac.

Pronunciation is in the Brain, not in the Mouth: A Cognitive Approach to Teaching It, by Edward Odisho, investigates the cognitive roots of pronunciation in children and adults and the emergence of accent in adults when learning a second language. The book distinguishes between phonological and phonetic accents, and recommends a combination of visual, auditory, tactile-kinesthetic, and cognitive strategies.

Finally, the latest instalment in our Antioch Bible series is currently in press. Although Revelation (translated by Jerome Lund) is not part of the Peshitta, it was translated into Syriac at a later date and added to a 6th-century pre-Harqlean version.

To see the full list of titles in different series, visit our series page.

Melonie Schmierer-Lee

Acquisitions Editor

The Life and Works of Severus of Antioch in the Coptic and Copto-Arabic Tradition By Youhanna Youssef
Severus of Antioch is by far the most prolific and well known theologian of the non-Chalcedonian churches. Although his life and writings came to our knowledge in Syriac, gaining him the title “Crown of the Syriac Literature,” many texts relating to his life and works survived in the Coptic and Copto-Arabic tradition, as well as a number of other texts that were traditionally attributed to him. This book provides an analysis of these texts as and a discussion of the veneration of Severus of Antioch in the Coptic Church.
ISBN 978-1-61719-738-3, Hardback, $178.75 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $160.88)

An East Syrian Manuscript of the Syriac 'Masora' Dated to 899 CE Volume 2: Prepared by Jonathan Loopstra
This unique manuscript of the East Syrian Syriac ‘Masora’ is essential for any study of early Syriac vocalization, accentuation, and punctuation. In Volume 1, Gorgias Press has published a facsimile reproduction of this unique ‘masoretic’ manuscript. This volume (Volume 2) includes an introduction and comprehensive lists of all scriptural sample texts and marginal notes in this compilation.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0391-7, Hardback, $228.09 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $205.28)

Pronunciation is in the Brain, not in the Mouth By Edward Y Odisho
This book investigates the cognitive roots of pronunciation in children and adults and the emergence of accent with adults when learning a second language (L2). Subsequently, any teaching of L2 pronunciation to adults should be premised on a multisensory and multicognitive approach covering a wide selection of teaching and learning strategies consistent with the cognitive roots
ISBN 978-1-4632-0415-0, Paperback, $79.04 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $71.14)

Revelation According to the Syriac Version with English Translation English Translation by Jerome Alan Lund; Text Prepared by George Anton Kiraz
This volume is part of a series of English translations of the Syriac Peshitta along with the Syriac text carried out by an international team of scholars. Although the book of Revelation is not part of the Peshitta, it was translated into Syriac at a later date and added to the Harqlean version.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0413-6, Cloth, $150

Mashritho: Syriac Summer Course 2014

George Kiraz, co-founder of Gorgias Press is teaching two intensive Syriac summer courses from August 4-22, for Beth Mardutho (The Syriac Institute) in collaboration with Rutgers University (Department of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literature). The courses are Introductory Syriac and Intermediate-Advanced Syriac, and include guest lectures from Jack Tannous (pictured right), Adam Becker, Charles Häberl, and James E. Walters. 18 students have been participating in this unique opportunity.

Jan Joosten Appointed Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford University

Gorgias Press author and current Professor of Old Testament Exegesis at the University of Strasbourg - Jan Joosten ThM, PhD, - has been appointed by the Queen of England as the Regius Professor of Hebrew in the University of Oxford in succession to Professor Hugh Williamson who retires at the end of September. Dr. Joosten wrote the popular Language and Textual History of the Syriac Bible For more information, see this press release from the prime minister.

Language and Textual History of the Syriac Bible
By Jan Joosten

ISBN 978-1-61143-891-8
 Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $85.50)

The Syriac Bible is a fascinating field to which too little research has been devoted. In the present volume, Jan Joosten gathers a number of pilot studies, published in various journals and collective volumes, shedding light on the Syriac Old Testament, New Testament, and the relation between them. A number of studies advance the claim that the Old Syriac and Peshitta gospels preserve echoes of an Aramaic gospel tradition that gives independent access to the earliest, oral traditions on the life and teaching of Jesus.


Jan Joosten (born 1959 in Ekeren, Belgium) studied theology in Brussels and Princeton, and studied Semitic languages in Jerusalem. He earned a PhD in Semitic languages at the Hebrew University in 1989, a ThD at the Protestant Faculty in Brussels in 1994, and a HDR (Habilitation à diriger des recherches) in Strasbourg in 1994. For twenty years he taught at the Faculty of Protestant Theology of the University of Strasbourg, first as professor of Biblical Languages, and from 2004 as professor of Old Testament. Jan is married with four children.


Susan Marks' book, First Came Marriage, was recently praised by Jane Kanarek from Hebrew College in a review in H-Judaic (July, 2014). Dr. Kanarek says:

"The challenge that Marks lays before historians of ancient society is a worthy one: to negotiate between and integrate the disciplines of ritual and history in order to avoid the pitfalls of anachronistic readings of evidence."

First Came Marriage
  By Susan Marks

ISBN 978-1-59333-585-4
 Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $85.50)

 Ritual and historical perspectives each provide only a partial view of early Jewish weddings. Combining these approaches allows for a new look at practices rejected or highlighted by early rabbis and their successors, and First Came Marriage: The Rabbinic Appropriation of Early Jewish Wedding Ritual investigates the process by which early Jews married and the various moves they used to minimize, elaborate or codify these practices.


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