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New monograph: Shemunkasho, Healing in the Theology of Saint Ephrem

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  • drthomas_joseph
    FYI. The following monograph was recently announced by Gorgias Press. The author Aho Shemunkasho holds a doctorate from Oxford and teaches at the Syrian
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 21, 2002
      FYI. The following monograph was recently announced by Gorgias Press.
      The author Aho Shemunkasho holds a doctorate from Oxford and teaches
      at the Syrian Orthodox monastery of St Jacob of Serugh, Warburg

      - Thomas Joseph

      Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 22:20:23 -0500
      From: "George Kiraz" <gkiraz@...>
      Subject: NEW BOOK: Shemunkasho, Healing in the Theology of Saint

      Gorgias Press announces the first monograph of "Gorgias
      Dissertations - Near East Series" (see Call for Submissions below):

      Shemunkasho, Aho. Healing in the Theology of Saint Ephrem
      ISBN: 1-931956-13-8
      Price: $65.00
      Series: Gorgias Dissertations, Near East 1
      Format: Paperback, eBook
      Pages: xxii + 480
      eBook Version: Purchase eBook for $55.00 from Amazon.com!

      Book Description

      Ephrem, the most celebrated writer of the Syriac Church, presents a
      wide range of theological themes and images that are characteristic
      of fourth century Syrian Christianity. A significant one that no one
      has yet studied in Ephrem, or in any other Syriac writer for that
      matter, is the concept of sickness and healing. In the course of six
      chapters, this book presents the significance of healing theology and
      the ways in which the healing of man - spiritually, mentally and
      corporally - is highly valued by Ephrem.

      After an introductory discussion on the place of ancient medicine in
      society in relation to religion, philosophy and science, the book
      considers the concept of healing and healing imagery in three selected
      Syriac works that predate Ephrem: the Odes of Solomon, the Acts of the
      Apostle Judas Thomas and Aphrahat's Demonstrations. This is followed
      by a detailed presentation of Ephrem's healing terminology, analyzing
      the use of significant terms relating to sickness and healing, and how
      Ephrem's usage compares with similar terms employed in the Bible. The
      book then focuses on Ephrem's exegesis of biblical passages that deal
      with healing, how he incorporates Biblical references to healing and
      sickness in his theological language, and how he develops and uses
      them in his arguments against heresies and false interpretations of
      God's word.

      The main part of the book deals with the causes of spiritual sickness
      and the process of healing, and the way in which Ephrem places them in
      the divine history of salvation. The cause of spiritual sickness is
      sin that is the result of the misuse of man's free will and the
      influence of man's enemy, i.e., Satan, the Evil One. Ephrem
      understands Adam and Eve's expulsion from Paradise as a 'Fall' into a
      state of sickness. God provides heavenly medicine for humanity, first
      through His chosen people, the patriarchs and the prophets, and then
      through His Son Who is the Physician par excellence and the Medicine
      of Life that is also present in the Church's sacraments for the

      Aho Shemunkasho received his master and doctoral degrees in Syriac
      studies from the University of Oxford under the supervision of
      Sebastian P. Brock. Prior to that, he received a degree in Theology
      from the Theologische Fakult├Ąt Paderborn, Germany. Currently,
      Shemunkasho is in charge of Syriac religious education in the
      secondary schools of Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. He also lectures
      and offers seminars at the newly established Theological Seminary of
      St Jacob of Serugh, Warburg.

      1 Introduction
      2 Healing Imagery in Some Other Works
      The Odes of Solomon
      The Acts of Judas Thomas
      Aphrahat's Demonstrations
      3 Ephrem's Healing Terminology
      Terms Related to Sickness
      Terms Related to Healing
      4 Ephrem's Biblical Exegesis
      Old Testament
      New Testament
      5 Salvation History as a Process for Healing
      The Cause of Sickness
      Healers and Healing Pre-Incarnation
      Jesus as the Medicine of Life
      6 Conclusions

      Paperback Order Information:
      Online orders: www.gorgiaspress.com
      Fax orders: +1 732 699 0342
      Phone Orders: +1 732 699 0343
      Address: Gorgias Press, 46 Orris Ave, Piscataway, NJ 08854 USA. Email:

      George A. Kiraz, M.St. (Oxon), M.Phil., Ph.D. (Cantab)
      Gorgias Press
      46 Orris Ave.
      Piscataway, NJ 08854
      Tel. 732-699-0343
      Fax 732-699-0342
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