Item description for Ephrem the Syrian: Hymns (Classics of Western Spirituality) by Ephraem & Kathleen E. McVey...
Overview Ephrem was born in the Mesopotamian city of Nisibis toward the end of the third century. An outpost of the Roman Empire, Nisibis and its Christian citizens were to be formed by the reign of Constantine and by the doctrines of the Council of Nicea. There, in the context of a large and sophisticated Jewish population and numerous Gnostic sects, Ephrem sought to defend orthodox Nicene Christianity. His teaching and writing made him an influential voice in the life of Syriac Christianity through the peaceful years of Constantine's patronage, the years of persecution after 361 under Emperor Julian, and the conflict between Persians and Romans which ultimately forced Ephrem to move to Edessa where he stayed until his death in 373. It was as a poet that Ephrem made his greatest impact. Writing in isosyllabic verses called madrashe, he attained a literary brilliance that won him a place of prominence not only in his own tradition, but also in the Coptic, Ethiopian, Armenian, and Arabic traditions as well. His hymns, praised in the West by Jerome, had a formative influence on the development of medieval religious drama in Europe. Blending Greek forms with his native style, he wove a highly crafted poetry of rich symbolism, attempting to fit the events of his day into a cosmic framework of God's redemptive act in Christ. Ephrem's combination of elements of Stoicism and Middle Platonism with Christian belief in a form reminiscent of the great second century apologists produced a corpus that speaks of his own literary genius and even more eloquently of the majesty and beauty of the divine source of all true poetry. Here, in a fresh and lively translation, are the Hymns on the Nativity, Hymns Against Julian, and the Hymns on Virginity and the Symbols of the Lord in which that voice may be heard closely and appreciated, wondered at, and enjoyed.
Publishers Description The most in-depth and scholarly panorama of Western spirituality ever attempted
In one series, the original writings of the universally acknowledged teachers of the Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Islamic and Native American traditions have been critically selected, translated and introduced by internationally recognized scholars and spiritual leaders.
The texts are first-rate, and the introductions are informative and reliable. The books will be a welcome addition to the bookshelf of every literate religious persons". -- The Christian Century
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Studio: Paulist Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 1.3" Weight: 1.45 lbs.
Release Date Dec 1, 1989
Publisher Paulist Press
Series Classics of Western Spirituality
ISBN 0809130939 ISBN13 9780809130931
Reviews - What do customers think about Ephrem the Syrian: Hymns (Classics of Western Spirituality)?
The Father of Lenten Prayers Oct 28, 2003
St. Ephrem was born at Nisibis during Roman rule, but when the Persians took over the city, he moved & later died in Edessa 373 AD. St. Ephrem wrote numerous works & for easy categorization can be listed in 3 forms: (1) Texts, (2) Exegetical, & (3) Poetical. This book is about the 3rd type, his hymns. The book is beautifully done by Paulist Press in hard back, but this listing is for the paperback edition. One of St. Ephrems Lenten prayers is normally spoken by the entire congregation with prostrations in the Eastern Orthodox Christian church (Eastern Rite) during Lent (40 days before Passion Week & Pascha/Easter). This prayer is included in the book:
O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despondency, lust of power, and idle talk;
But grant rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to thy servant.
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother; for blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages.