The Making of Syriac Jerusalem : Representations of the Holy City in Syriac Literature of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages book cover
1st Edition

The Making of Syriac Jerusalem
Representations of the Holy City in Syriac Literature of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages

  • Available for pre-order on April 14, 2023. Item will ship after May 5, 2023
ISBN 9781032470993
May 5, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
360 Pages

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Book Description

This book discusses hagiographic, historiographical, hymnological and theological sources that contributed to the formation of the sacred picture of the physical as well as metaphysical Jerusalem in the literature of two Eastern Christian denominations, East and West Syrians.

Popa analyses the question of Syrian beliefs about the Holy City, their interaction with holy places, and how they travelled in the Holy Land. He also explores how they imagined and reflected the theology of this itinerary through literature in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, set alongside a well-defined local tradition that was at times at odds with Jerusalem. Even though the image of Jerusalem as a land of sacred spaces is unanimously accepted in the history of Christianity, there were also various competing positions and attitudes. This often promoted the attempt at mitigating and replacing Jerusalem’s sacred centrality to the Christian experience with local sacred heritage, which is also explored in this study. Popa argues that despite this rhetoric of artificial boundaries, the general picture epitomizes a fluid and animated intersection of Syriac Christians with the Holy City especially in the medieval era and the subsequent period, through a standardized process of pilgrimage, well-integrated in the custom of advanced Christian life and monastic canon.

The Making of Syriac Jerusalem is suitable for students and scholars working on the history, literature and theology of Syriac Christianity in the late antique and medieval periods.

Table of Contents

Part 1: The Beginnings of Syriac Christian Pilgrimage to the Holy Land; Part 2: Syriac Christians and the Tradition of the Holy Places of Palestine following the Islamic Conquest of Jerusalem (638-639); Part 3: The Portrayal of Jerusalem in Syriac Chronicles and Poems on the Second Islamic Conquest and Subsequent Period, and the Presence of Syriac Pilgrims in Palestine in the Late Medieval Period.

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Catalin-Stefan Popa is Research Professor in Church History at the Romanian Academy in Bucharest. He holds his PhD from Georg August University of Göttingen, Germany (2016). In 2021 he received the venia legendi (habilitation) at Karl Franzens University of Graz, Austria. He published articles and edited volumes on Syriac and Oriental ecclesiastical history, exegesis and literature, including the monograph Gi¯wargi¯s I. (660-680). Ostsyrische Christologie in fru¨hislamischer Zeit (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2016). He is editor-in-chief and founder of The Syriac Annals of Romanian Academy (SARA).