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.
This volume brings together the texts and translations for three Syriac martyr acts, set in Sasanian Persia during the reign of Shapur II (309-379 CE). These texts offer compelling witness to the challenges of a community’s need to honor memory and experience, and evidence towards the formation and sustenance of Christian identity in the midst of Persian society and culture.
The long career of Jacob of Serugh provides insights into Scripture and tradition expected by homilies as well as information about his audience. In this publication, Harvey discusses Jacob of Serugh’s concern for congregations to balance lifestyle and devotional obligations.
Syriac tradition remembers sixth century Byzantine emperor Justinian I as the harsh persecutor of the faithful, while his wife Theodora is revered as the “believing queen”, champion and protectress of the dissenting non-Chalcedonian church.
This edition of Mar Jacob of Sarug's (d. 521) homily on Jephthah’s daughter invisages this single, virginal female as a prefiguration of Christ. Jacob also discusses the history of blood sacrifice and on the qualities that render Jephthah’s action priestly. The volume constitutes a fascicle of The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain the original Syriac text of Jacob's surviving sermons, fully vocalized, alongside an annotated English translation.
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.
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