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e-Gorgias (Issue 97, June 2016)


Issue 97
June: 2016
Reading Time: 10 minutes
You may have heard about the new Islamic Studies series we recently launched, Islamic History and Thought. To keep the ball rolling, we are now announcing a second Islamic Studies series, The Modern Muslim World.

The new series will cover developments in Islamic theology, history, science, art, and literature from the 17th century to the present, and already has a great team of editors. More details under our Acquisitions column below.
We have more exciting news in this issue, including several newly released books, our fast-approaching summer course, and a new review of the Antioch Bible. Stay tuned!

Happy reading!

Jeff Haines, Marketing Assistant

  • Recently Released
  • Coming Soon
  • From the Acquisitions Desk
  • News
  • Reviews
  • Conferences

For the complete list of recent releases, please visit our Just Published page.


Jacob of Sarug's Homilies on Praise at Table
Fascicle 38: Edited and Translated by Jeff W. Childers

ISBN 978-1-4632-0605-5
Paperback, $55.25 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $49.73)

Recognized as a saint by both Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian Christians alike, Jacob of Sarug (d. 521) produced many narrative poems that have rarely been translated into English. Of his reported 760 metrical homilies, only about half survive. Part of a series of fascicles containing the bilingual Syriac-English editions of Saint Jacob of Sarug’s homilies, this volume contains his homilies on Praise at Table. These homilies offer a glimpse into the efforts of one late antique author to construct distinctly Christian meaning from the experience of communal meal-sharing. The Syriac text is fully vocalized, and the translation is annotated with a commentary and biblical references. The volume is one of the fascicles of Gorgias Press’s The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain all of Jacob’s surviving sermons.

Dadishoʿ Qaṭraya’s Compendious Commentary on The Paradise of the Egyptian Fathers
Edited and Translated by Mario Kozah, Abdulrahim Abu-Husayn & Suleiman Mourad

ISBN 978-1-4632-0566-9
Paperback, $43.355 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $39.02)

The Compendious Commentary by the Church of the East monk Dadishoʿ Qaṭraya (7th cent.) was originally written in Syriac but was eventually translated into Garshuni or Syro-Arabic. It is a work aimed at immersing the novice monk in the spiritual lore of the monastic vocation, and saturating his mind and spirit with advice and warnings about the pitfalls of aiming to be perfect while remaining nevertheless an imperfect human being. This is a critical edition and translation of the Compendious Commentary in Garshuni that uses all available manuscripts.

Icons of the Heavenly Merchant
By Andrew Hayes

ISBN 978-1-4632-0414-3
Hardback, $212.095 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $190.89)

A detailed study of a cycle of fourth-century liturgical poems, in Syriac, dedicated to a great pioneer of the Syriac ascetical tradition. Hayes analyzes its various portraits of the saint, shaded differently by Ephrem and his later imitators.

Myth, Text, and History at Sparta
Edited by Thomas Figueira

ISBN 978-1-4632-0595-9
Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $85.50)

Three studies that offer close readings concerning the interaction of the source material on Spartan history with the unfolding of actual historical events. These contributions take the position that not only political, but also social, policies at Sparta, as well as the historical actors giving them shape, were intensely─and to an unusual degree─influenced by myth, tradition, and popular memory about the Laconian past.

Hebrews & General Epistles According to the Syriac Peshitta Version with English Translation
English Translation by Daniel King & J. Edward Walters; Text Prepared by George Anton Kiraz

ISBN 978-1-4632-0556-0
Cloth, $150 (Click here to visit the series page)

This volume is part of a series of English translations of the Syriac Peshi?ta along with the Syriac text carried out by an international team of scholars.

Reading Doctrines as Theological Images in Reformed Protestantism
By Corneliu C. Simut

ISBN 978-1-4632-0594-2
Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $85.50)

The book focuses on four doctrines recommended to readers as “theological images” which, given their theoretical and practical importance, turn out to be genuine patterns for Reformed Protestantism. The four theological images investigated throughout the book—the image of marriage, the image of worship, the image of God, and the image of Moses (as pointing to salvation)—were extracted from the works of Reformed theologians belonging to the French/French Swiss and the English traditions: Guillaume Farel and Jean Calvin, John Bradford and Richard Hooker respectively.

The Sub-Loco Notes in the Former Prophets of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia
By Christopher Dost

ISBN 978-1-4632-0531-7
Hardback, $194.545 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $175.09)

In BHS’s Masoretic apparatus, certain Masorah parva notes are marked “sub loco” in order to refer the reader to the corresponding commentary that was to be found in the third volume of Massorah Gedolah. Due to Weil’s passing, however, this commentary was never realized. This volume builds on Mynatt’s 1994 analysis and classification of the Pentateuch’s 297 sub loco notes by incorporating the Aleppo and Cairo Codices. Dost evaluates all 451 sub loco notes in the corpus of the Former Prophets, and evaluates Weil’s contribution by comparing Weil's revision of the Leningrad Codex’s Masorah against the Masorah of the Aleppo Codex.

Christians under the Ottoman Turks
By Hélène Pignot

ISBN 978-1-4632-0591-1
Paperback, $47.24 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $42.52)

In the 17th century Britons left their country in vast numbers - explorers, diplomats, ecclesiastics, merchants, or simply “tourists.” Only the most intrepid ventured into the faraway lands of the Ottoman Empire. Their travel narratives, best-sellers in their day, provide an entertaining but also valuable testimony on the everyday life of Orthodox Christians and their coexistence with the Turks. Greek Christians, though living under the Ottoman yoke, enjoyed greater religious freedom than many of their brothers in Christian Europe. The travelers’ intellectual curiosity about Greece opened a window on the Orthodox Church, and paved the way for future dialogue.



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


Isaac the Syrian's Spiritual Works Edited and Translated by Mary T. Hansbury
Isaac the Syrian lived the solitary life in the 7th century. He was born in Qatar and subsequently lived in present day Iraq and Iran. After life as a monk, then briefly as a bishop, he withdrew to live the solitary life. These discourses are primarily for solitaries to consolidate them in the love and mercy of God. In this volume, the text of Isaac V has also been included because of the light which it sheds on Apocatastasis, of increasing interest in academic and ecclesial circles.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0593-5, Paperback, $45.5 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $40.95)

Sleep and Sleeplessness in Byzantium By Nikolaos Barkas
In recent decades certain historians have intimated that Byzantine society - and monastics in particular - suffered from a lack of sleep (whether described in negative terms as sleep deprivation or sleep abstinence). Sleep-abstinence surely permeated Byzantine society: it is encountered in every age, sex and class, together with its institutions, beliefs, practices, rituals, morals and mythologies. However, sleep is a biological phenomenon as well. One cannot possibly appreciate the Byzantines' stance towards it, nor asses the veracity, aims and effectiveness of their ideas and attitudes in relation to sleep-abstinence, unless one is ready to tackle the biological aspect. Moreover, without the biological aspect, the claim that the Byzantines were sleep-deprived is impossible to substantiate. This book approaches this subject by using a bio-cultural method, which combines sleep medicine with theology, history, and critical research, in order to analyse the practice of sleep-abstinence and the attitudes towards sleep in Byzantium. Focusing on Greek documentary sources, this book investigates whether Byzantines did indeed practice sleep abstinence or sleep deprivation, and their rationales for curtailing their sleep. Chapters cover the mechanics of sleep in the modern world and in the ancient world, the place of monastic vigil, and the vigil of the laity.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0237-8, Hardback

Apophatic Anthropology By André Scrima; Translated by Octavian Gabor
An English translation of André Scrima's 1952 work on Apophatic Anthropology. Pascalian in essence, the approach departs from the Augustinian roots of Western Christian theology and develops a Christian anthropology based on Eastern Orthodoxy. The endeavor of a human being to understand oneself does not lead, as in the case of Pascal, to identification with Jesus Christ’s suffering, but further, to an attempt of deification, theosis, in which the main concept is Incarnation. This attempt opens to man the possibility to conceive himself as interior to God. Man becomes therefore the physical and metaphysical bridge between creation and the uncreated, the only creature that bears the image of God.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0565-2, Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $85.50)

The Coup of Jehoiada and the Fall of Athaliah By Clayton Bench
The Coup of Jehoiada and the Fall of Athaliah explores the discursive and historiographical techniques used to incorporate 2 Kings 11 into the larger deuteronomistic history. More specifically, this book explores how and why the report of Athaliah’s execution was not incorporated into the deuteronomistic history the same way as other Ahabite death reports found in 1 Kings 14 – 2 Kings 10.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0577-5, Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $85.50)

Call for Submissions: The Modern Muslim World

Following on the heels of Islamic History and Thought, which covered the pre-modern Islamic world, The Modern Muslim World will cover the modern period from the 17th century to the present day. We encourage submissions from all academic specialties (history, theology, philosophy, anthropology, science, art, economics, etc)

Interested parties should email our Arabic and Islamic Studies acquisitions editor, Adam Walker, at

Series Editorial Board

  • Professor Hina Azam, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Professor Marcia Hermansen (Chair), Loyola University Chicago
  • Professor Ussama Makdisi, Rice University
  • Professor Martin Nguyen, Fairfield University
  • Professor Joas Wagemakers, Utrecht University

Advisory Editorial Board

  • Professor Talal Asad, City University of New York
  • Professor Khaled Abou El Fadl, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Dr. Amira Bennison, University of Cambridge
  • Professor Islam Dayeh, Freie Universität Berlin
  • Professor Marwa Elshakry, Columbia University
  • Dr. Rana Hisham Issa, University of Oslo
  • Professor Tijana Krstic, Central European University
  • Professor Ebrahim Moosa, University of Notre Dame
  • Professor Adam Sabra, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Professor Armando Salvatore, McGill University
  • Professor Adam Talib, American University of Cairo

Last Chance to Enroll in Beth Mardutho Summer Course

Summer is here, and we are in full preparation mode for the Beth Mardutho language courses! As you probably know, Gorgias Press shares a building with Beth Mardutho: The Syriac Institute. Thanks to several hardworking interns, the Institute is being completely re-cataloged and rearranged. Here's a snapshot of what they've accomplished so far:

June 30 is the last day to register for Syriac I and II at our sister institute, Beth Mardutho. Don't miss your chance to sign up!

These courses are a wonderful opportunity not only to jump-start your language skills, but also to network with other students, listen to guest lectures by experts from Princeton and Rutgers, and learn more about Orthodox liturgy and the Christian Middle East.

Previous students have written:
“It is a wonderful course. I doubt a better introductory Syriac language course could be found anywhere…” Jason Falcone
“Studying Syriac with George at Beth Mardutho this summer was a joyful and rewarding experience. Besides having access to a capable teacher and rich library that provided me with useful information and resources, the weekly lectures by guest scholars enriched my knowledge, challenged my views, and even my scholarly goals.” Ashoor Yousif
In three weeks, the Summer Syriac Course has taught me the basic grammar of the Syriac language, and has given me the tools to further my own individual study of the language. George Kiraz is an excellent instructor, with a comprehensive command of the material and a great teaching style.” Sami Jiries

Click here to register!

New Series Cover for Islamic History and Thought

After careful deliberation, our production team has developed a new cover for our Islamic History and Thought series. Although the books aren't quite ready, you can see a mockup below:

Visit the call for submissions page here.


The Antioch Bible series recently received a glowing review from Craig Evans, a noted Biblical scholar whose work has included serving on the advisory board for the Gospel of Judas and publishing several reference works for New Testament Studies, including co-editing with Stanley Porter Dictionary of New Testament Background (InterVarsity Press, 2000) andJesus and the Remains of His Day: Studies in Jesus and the Evidence of Material Culture (Hendrickson, 2015).

Regarding the Antioch Bible version of Mark, Evans writes:

"We look forward to the completion of this important series in the not-too-distant future. . . The Peshitta Syriac-English series in the Gorgias Antioch Bible may be intended for non-experts, but Biblical scholars — of both the Old Testament and the New Testament — will benefit from it. It is highly recommended."

Click here to see the Antioch Bible home page!
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