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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.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 1-59333-156-8
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Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Jan 1,2004
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 503
ISBN: 1-59333-156-8
$207.00
$124.20

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, or in any other Syriac writer for that matter, is the concept of sickness and healing. In the course of six chapters, 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.

After an introductory discussion on the place of ancient medicine in society with respect to religion, philosophy, and science, the book considers the concept of healing and healing imagery in three selected Syriac works that predate Ephrem: the Odes of Solomon, the Acts of the Apostle Judas Thomas, and Aphrahat's Demonstrations. This is followed by a detailed presentation of Ephrem's healing terminology, analyzing the use of significant terms relating to sickness and healing, and how Ephrem's usage compares with similar terms employed in the Bible. The book then focuses on Ephrem's exegesis of biblical passages that deal with healing, how he incorporates Biblical references to healing and sickness in his theological language, and how he develops and uses them in his arguments against heresies and false interpretations of God's word.

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. The cause of spiritual sickness is sin that is the result of the misuse of man's free will and the influence of man's enemy, i.e., Satan, the Evil One. Ephrem understands Adam and Eve's expulsion from paradise as a "fall" into a state of sickness. God provides heavenly medicine for humanity, first through His chosen people, the patriarchs and the prophets, and then through His Son who is the physician par excellence and the medicine of life that is also present in the Church's sacraments for the faithful.

Aho Shemunkasho received his master and doctoral degrees in Syriac studies from the University of Oxford under the supervision of Sebastian P. Brock. Prior to that, he received a degree in Theology from the Theologische Fakultät Paderborn, Germany. Currently, Shemunkasho is in charge of Syriac religious education in the secondary schools of Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. He also lectures and offers seminars at the newly established Theological Seminary of St Jacob of Serug, Warburg.

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, or in any other Syriac writer for that matter, is the concept of sickness and healing. In the course of six chapters, 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.

After an introductory discussion on the place of ancient medicine in society with respect to religion, philosophy, and science, the book considers the concept of healing and healing imagery in three selected Syriac works that predate Ephrem: the Odes of Solomon, the Acts of the Apostle Judas Thomas, and Aphrahat's Demonstrations. This is followed by a detailed presentation of Ephrem's healing terminology, analyzing the use of significant terms relating to sickness and healing, and how Ephrem's usage compares with similar terms employed in the Bible. The book then focuses on Ephrem's exegesis of biblical passages that deal with healing, how he incorporates Biblical references to healing and sickness in his theological language, and how he develops and uses them in his arguments against heresies and false interpretations of God's word.

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. The cause of spiritual sickness is sin that is the result of the misuse of man's free will and the influence of man's enemy, i.e., Satan, the Evil One. Ephrem understands Adam and Eve's expulsion from paradise as a "fall" into a state of sickness. God provides heavenly medicine for humanity, first through His chosen people, the patriarchs and the prophets, and then through His Son who is the physician par excellence and the medicine of life that is also present in the Church's sacraments for the faithful.

Aho Shemunkasho received his master and doctoral degrees in Syriac studies from the University of Oxford under the supervision of Sebastian P. Brock. Prior to that, he received a degree in Theology from the Theologische Fakultät Paderborn, Germany. Currently, Shemunkasho is in charge of Syriac religious education in the secondary schools of Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. He also lectures and offers seminars at the newly established Theological Seminary of St Jacob of Serug, Warburg.

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Contributor Biography

Aho Shemunkasho

Aho Shemunkasho ist Universitätsassistent am Fachbereich Bibelwissenschaft und Kirchengeschichte der Universität Salzburg. Er absolvierte das Studium der Theologie in Paderborn, der Syrologie und das Doktorratsstudium mit dem Thema „Healing in the Theology of St. Ephrem“ (Gorgias Press 2002) bei Sebastian Brock in Oxford. Ab 2000 arbeitete Shemunkasho als Religionslehrer und Koordinator der syr.-orth. Religionslehrer von Nordrhein-Westfalen, lehrte am Theologischen Seminar St. Jakob von Sarugh Warburg, und war wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Forschungsprojekt „Polyglotter Studientext zu Ben Sira“ (Universität Salzburg).

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Healing Imagery in Some Other Works, The Odes of Solomon, The Acts of Judas Thomas, Aphrahat's Demonstrations
  • Ephrem's Healing Terminology, Terms Related to Sickness, Terms Related to Healing
  • Ephrem's Biblical Exegesis, Old Testament, New Testament
  • Salvation History as a Process for Healing, The Cause of Sickness, Healers and Healing Pre-Incarnation, Jesus as the Medicine of Life
  • Conclusions
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