In this Book

University of California Press
summary
Missionary Stories and the Formation of the Syriac Churches analyzes the hagiographic traditions of seven missionary saints in the Syriac heritage during late antiquity: Thomas, Addai, Mari, John of Ephesus, Simeon of Beth Arsham, Jacob Baradaeus, and Ahudemmeh. Jeanne-Nicole Mellon Saint-Laurent studies a body of legends about the missionaries’ voyages in the Syrian Orient to illustrate their shared symbols and motifs. Revealing how these texts encapsulated the concerns of the communities that produced them, she draws attention to the role of hagiography as a malleable genre that was well-suited for the idealized presentation of the beginnings of Christian communities. Hagiographers, through their reworking of missionary themes, asserted autonomy, orthodoxy, and apostolicity for their individual civic and monastic communities, positioning themselves in relationship to the rulers of their empires and to competing forms of Christianity. Saint-Laurent argues that missionary hagiography is an important and neglected source for understanding the development of the East and West Syriac ecclesiastical bodies: the Syrian Orthodox Church and the Church of the East. Given that many of these Syriac-speaking churches remain today in the Middle East and India, with diaspora communities in Europe and North America, this work opens the door for further study of the role of saints and stories as symbolic links between ancient and modern traditions.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page, Copyright Page
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  1. Contents
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xiii
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  1. Introduction: Missionary Narratives in the Syriac Tradition
  2. pp. 1-16
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  1. 1. Saint Thomas, Missionary Apostle to India
  2. pp. 17-35
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  1. 2. The Teaching of Addai: Founding a Christian City
  2. pp. 36-55
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  1. 3. Mari as Apostle to the Church of Persia
  2. pp. 56-71
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  1. 4. John of Ephesus as Hagiographer and Missionary
  2. pp. 72-79
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  1. 5. Legends of Simeon of Beth Arsham, Missionary to Persia
  2. pp. 80-95
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  1. 6. Hagiographical Portraits of Jacob Baradaeus
  2. pp. 96-109
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  1. 7. Ahudemmeh among the Arabs
  2. pp. 110-128
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  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 129-138
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 139-180
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. pp. 181-182
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 183-200
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 201-209
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780520960589
Related ISBN
9780520284968
MARC Record
OCLC
909542364
Pages
232
Launched on MUSE
2015-08-02
Language
English
Open Access
No
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