Close
You have no items in your shopping cart.
Search
Filters

The Syriac Book of Steps 1


Syriac Text and English Translation


Translation and Introduction by Robert A. Kitchen & Martien F. G. Parmentier
The Syriac Book of Steps collects 30 memre by an anonymous late 4th century author in Persia. It describes the struggle of an actual Christian community, not an idealized one, to live a life in the pursuit of perfection in the midst of a hostile culture. The author details the aspirations and standards of the two ranks of Christians prior to the advent of monasticism: the Upright—married people who work and perform acts of charity—and the Perfect who are celibate, do not work, but live a life of prayer, wandering through the region teaching and mediating conflicts.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-59333-978-4
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Sep 23,2009
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 231
Languages: English, Syriac
ISBN: 978-1-59333-978-4
$60.00
$42.00

The Book of Steps is a collection of 30 sermons and Biblical interpretation by an anonymous author living in the Persian Empire (modern Iraq) during the late 300's. One of the largest examples of early Syriac literature, the Book of Steps describes the struggle of a Christian community prior to the advent of monasticism to live a faithful, committed life in the pursuit of perfection. The author details the aspirations and standards of the two ranks of Christians in his community: the Upright ones—married lay people who work in the world and perform the various acts of Christian charity—and the Perfect ones who are celibate, do not work, but live a life of prayer, while wandering through the region teaching and mediating conflicts. The Book of Steps is a unique work because it presents a living portrait of an actual religious community, not an idealized one, in the midst of a hostile culture. While the author advocates an ascetical lifestyle, this community does not practice the extreme physical asceticism so often associated with the Syriac church during this period. Unlike many works on the spiritual life, the author gradually seems to withdraw his praise for the higher rank, the Perfect, and begin to encourage, if not favor, the lower rank, the Upright.

Volume 1 contains a brief introduction to The Book of Steps; Syriac text and English translation: Preface and Mēmrē 1–10. The first 10 mēmrē focus on the author’s depiction of the basic ways of Uprightness and Perfection.

Robert A. Kitchen is the Minister of Knox-Metropolitan United Church, Regina, Saskatchewan. He holds a D.Phil in Syriac Language and Literature from the University of Oxford. Along with Martien F. G. Parmentier he has translated the Book of Steps for Cistercian Publications.

The Book of Steps is a collection of 30 sermons and Biblical interpretation by an anonymous author living in the Persian Empire (modern Iraq) during the late 300's. One of the largest examples of early Syriac literature, the Book of Steps describes the struggle of a Christian community prior to the advent of monasticism to live a faithful, committed life in the pursuit of perfection. The author details the aspirations and standards of the two ranks of Christians in his community: the Upright ones—married lay people who work in the world and perform the various acts of Christian charity—and the Perfect ones who are celibate, do not work, but live a life of prayer, while wandering through the region teaching and mediating conflicts. The Book of Steps is a unique work because it presents a living portrait of an actual religious community, not an idealized one, in the midst of a hostile culture. While the author advocates an ascetical lifestyle, this community does not practice the extreme physical asceticism so often associated with the Syriac church during this period. Unlike many works on the spiritual life, the author gradually seems to withdraw his praise for the higher rank, the Perfect, and begin to encourage, if not favor, the lower rank, the Upright.

Volume 1 contains a brief introduction to The Book of Steps; Syriac text and English translation: Preface and Mēmrē 1–10. The first 10 mēmrē focus on the author’s depiction of the basic ways of Uprightness and Perfection.

Robert A. Kitchen is the Minister of Knox-Metropolitan United Church, Regina, Saskatchewan. He holds a D.Phil in Syriac Language and Literature from the University of Oxford. Along with Martien F. G. Parmentier he has translated the Book of Steps for Cistercian Publications.

Write your own review
  • Only registered users can write reviews
  • Bad
  • Excellent
Contributor Biography

Robert Kitchen

Robert A. Kitchen is the Minister of Knox-Metropolitan United Church, Regina, Saskatchewan. He holds a D.Phil in Syriac Language and Literature from the University of Oxford. Along with Martien F. G. Parmentier he has translated the Book of Steps for Cistercian Publications.

Martien F. G. Parmentier

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Introduction (page 7)
  • Syriac Editor's Preface (page 12)
  • Memra One (page 20)
  • Memra Two: About Those Who Want to Become Perfect (page 32)
  • Memra Three: The Physical And the Spiritual Ministry (page 50)
  • Memra Four: On the Vegetables for the Sick (page 82)
  • Memra Five: On the Milk of the Children (page 94)
  • Memra Six: On Those Who Are Made Perfect and Continue to Grow (page 126)
  • Memra Seven: On the Commandments of the Upright (page 132)
  • Memra Eight: On One Who Gives All He Has to Feed the Poor (page 166)
  • Memra Nine: On Uprightness and the Love of the Upright and the Prophets (page 176)
  • Memra Ten (page 214)
Customers who bought this item also bought

The New Syriac Primer, 2nd Edition

Series: Gorgias Handbooks 9
ISBN: 978-1-59333-325-6
A truly useful introduction to the Syriac language is a rare find. This practical initiation to the study of this ancient language of the Christian church speaks with clarity and authority. A fruitful integration of scholarly introduction and practical application, this primer is more than a simple grammar or syntactic introduction to the language. Writing in a style designed for beginners, Kiraz avoids technical language and strives for a reader-friendly inductive approach. Readings from actual Syriac texts allow the student to experience the language first hand and the basics of the grammar of the language are ably explained. The book comes with downloadable material so that readers may listen to all reading sentences and text passages in the book.
$48.00

The Syriac Dot

A Short History
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0425-9
The dot is used for everything in Syriac from tense to gender, number, and pronunciation, and unsurprisingly represents one of the biggest obstacles to learning the language. Using inscriptions, early grammars, and experiments with modern scribes, Dr. Kiraz peels back the evolution of the dot layer by layer to explain each of its uses in detail and to show how it adopted the wide range of uses it has today.
$29.40

Pocket Gorgias Syriac-English Dictionary

ISBN: 978-1-4632-0707-6
The Pocket Dictionary is both a convenient academic resource and a door into the world of Modern Literary Syriac. With 13,000 entries drawn from the major existing works, it is a practical tool for all but the most specialized Classical Syriac texts.
$45.00

Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage

ISBN: 978-1-59333-714-8
The Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage (GEDSH) is the first major encyclopedia-type reference work devoted exclusively to Syriac Christianity, both as a field of scholarly inquiry and as the inheritance of Syriac Christians today. In more than 600 entries it covers the Syriac heritage from its beginnings in the first centuries of the Common Era up to the present day. Special attention is given to authors, literary works, scholars, and locations that are associated with the Classical Syriac tradition. Within this tradition, the diversity of Syriac Christianity is highlighted as well as Syriac Christianity’s broader literary and historical contexts, with major entries devoted to Greek and Arabic authors and more general themes, such as Syriac Christianity’s contacts with Judaism and Islam, and with Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, and Georgian Christianities.
$91.00