History and Religion in Late Antique Syria

By Bundy, David | The Catholic Historical Review, October 1997 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

History and Religion in Late Antique Syria


Bundy, David, The Catholic Historical Review


History and Religion in Late Antique Syria. By Han J.W Drijvers. [Variorum Collected Studies Series, 464.] (Brookfield, Vermont: Variorum, Ashgate Publishing Co. 1994. Pp. xii, 305. $87.50.)

Professor Drijvers has had a remarkable career at the University of Groningen. Beginning with his groundbreaking study of Bardaisan (1966), he has labored to transform the study of Syriac Christianity from the stepchild of theology to a subdiscipline of the study of Late Antiquity.The present volume contains a reprint collection of nineteen articles originally published between 1983 and 1992. This was a remarkably fruitful decade of scholarly enterprise. The first section includes ten articles in which aspects of problems related to the roots of Syriac Christianity were re-examined. He studied the relationships between Jews and Christians, pseudepigraphical literature produced and/or transmitted in Syriac, the theology and influence of Tatian, and Syriac Christian spirituality. He argued throughout that the roots of early Syriac Christianity are to be found in middle-Platonic thought and not in some sentimental theory of Jewish Aramaic origins.

Another group of articles in this collection dealt with Marcion and the Marcionites who were competitors of Bardaisan and the Manichaeans as well as Ephrem of Syria. In articles which have yet to receive serious consideration in early Christian studies, Drijvers, correctly I would argue, identified Marcion's philosophical system as dependent upon a particular middle-Platonic perspective.This analysis which goes against the standard fare found in generations of textbooks on early Christianity will require significant re-examination of the relevant texts.

The third branch of the collection presents two of Drijver's most controversial articles.These deal with Manichaeism.What has offended many scholars of Syriac studies, although few have made serious efforts to present arguments to the contrary, is the identification of the Doctrina Addai as a "Christian" response to the challenge posed by a letter of Mani to Manichaean believers at Edessa rather than a treatise reporting on the evangelization of Edessa by one of the Apostles.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

History and Religion in Late Antique Syria
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?