15. Dezember 2020, 16:15 Uhr
Der Vortrag findet online via Zoom statt.
Interessierte Teilnehmer können sich per E-Mail bei Anke Dingler anmelden.
The event takes place online via Zoom.
Please register for participation by email to Anke Dingler.
Intellectual Trends and Theological Debates in Early Syriac Christianity Before and During the Institutionalization of the Church
I will deal with the Syriac Christian culture of the second to fourth centuries CE by investigating the religious controversies and the confrontation with Greek philosophy attested in both the early Syriac writings (including the Gospels’ versions) and the later heresiological reports (Ephrem and other authors) and manuscripts (in particular BL add. 14658). In particular, for a correct appreciation of the debates developed in this area a number of not explicit witnesses are to be taken into account, such as the Odes of Solomon, the writings of Bardaisan or attributed to him, some passages of the Acts of Judas Thomas, the pseudo-Clementine literature. The aim of this lecture is to understand whether a reception of Greek philosophy and a theory of heresy were conceived of by the intellectuals of the first centuries, and whether some of the arguments developed in the controversies of the second and third centuries were tacitly reused by “Catholic” authors of the fourth century. In the first section an hypothesis proposed recently by the lecturer will be corroborated, that the Book of the Laws of the Countries, attributed to Bardaisan or his school, has been influenced by the lost Syntagma against all the Heresies composed in the second century by Justin Martyr against Marcion. The Syntagma could have reached Edessa through Tatian, Justin’s disciple, thus marking the beginning of a dialogue between Rome and Mesopotamia which continued for several centuries. The lecture claims next that the Diatessaron and the Vetus syra were composed as reactions to Marcion and his teachings. The third and the fourth centuries witness indeed an intense debate among movements that were later on labelled as heretic: the Marcionite Prepon polemicized against Bardaisan’s critiques, Mani refuted Bardaisan’s psychological doctrines, the pseudo-Clementine literature included a book against Marcion, and Ephrem’s Commentary to the Diatessaron attests of cosmological and exegetical differences between Marcion and Bardaisan. The debates developed in both cultic congregations and Christian schools created after the model of the contemporary philosophical schools: however, differently from what was happening in Alexandria, a connection between schools and ecclesiastical structures is lacking; it could be responsible for transformation of the schools into “heresies” made by the fourth century orthodox Church.The Birth of Syriac Christian Culture