Ephrem’s Symbolic Transformation

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Ephrem the Syrian and early Syriac Christianity. In his dissertation on Ephrem, Jeff Wickes argues that Ephrem’s symbolic universe constructs a symbolic self through the scriptural world of his hymns (Wickes, 3). In light of an earlier chapter, this is clarified to mean that Ephrem co-identifiedContinue reading “Ephrem’s Symbolic Transformation”

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Investigation and Scripture

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Ephrem the Syrian and early Syrian Christianity. Investigation and Scripture in Ephrem’s Hymns on Faith 1-9 Ephrem scholar Jeff Wickes contextualizes the Hymns on Faith as essentially belonging to the post-Nicaea “homoean” camp that remained anti-subordinationist while problematizing the language of Nicaea.[1] This characterization, I believe,Continue reading “Investigation and Scripture”

Ephrem’s Scriptural Simplicity

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Ephrem the Syrian and early Syrian Christianity. Central to Ephrem’s scriptural presentation of Christ as beyond investigation (i.e., of the same order as the Father) is the relative simplicity of his arguments. Instead of constructing complex metaphysical arguments, Ephrem relies upon the re-presentation of narratives fromContinue reading “Ephrem’s Scriptural Simplicity”

Reflections on “Ephrem, Athanasius, and the ‘Arian’ Threat”

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Ephrem the Syrian and early Syrian Christianity. In her chapter “Ephrem, Athanasius, and the ‘Arian’ threat” of Anti-Judaism and Christian Orthodoxy: Ephrem’s Hymns in Fourth Century Syria (CUA Press, 2008), Christine Shepardson compares the anti-Arian rhetoric of these two great defenders of Nicene Christology, arguing thatContinue reading “Reflections on “Ephrem, Athanasius, and the ‘Arian’ Threat””

Ephrem’s Boundaries of Investigation: Scriptural and Natural

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Ephrem the Syrian and early Syriac theology. Throughout his Hymns on Faith, Ephrem remains especially concerned with recasting the terms of the Arian-Orthodox debate concerning the relationship of the Son to the Father. Instead of simply affirming a Nicene, Homoean, or Subordinationist perspective, Ephrem focuses onContinue reading “Ephrem’s Boundaries of Investigation: Scriptural and Natural”

Scriptural Poetics and Ephrem’s Theology of Names

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Ephrem the Syrian and early Syrian Christianity. Those familiar with the contents of the Jewish and Christian scriptures cannot help but notice how the imagery and language of these writings pervades the writings of Ephrem. The problem with Ephrem’s extensive use of the metaphors and terminologyContinue reading “Scriptural Poetics and Ephrem’s Theology of Names”

Ephrem’s “Hymns on Paradise”

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Ephrem the Syrian and early Syrian Christianity. Given the length of Ephrem’s Hymns on Paradise and the number of reflection-worthy aspects of his thought demonstrated in these hymns, this essay offers several general reflections on Ephrem’s concepts of Paradise (historic and cosmic), the limiting of investigation,Continue reading “Ephrem’s “Hymns on Paradise””