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NEW BOOK: Shemunkasho, Healing in the Theology of Saint Ephrem

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  • George Kiraz
    Gorgias Press announces the first monograph of Gorgias Dissertations - Near East Series (see Call for Submissions below): Shemunkasho, Aho. Healing in the
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 20, 2002
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      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!
      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: orders@....

      Gorgias Dissertations: CALL FOR SUBMISSION

      Gorgias Press launched the series "Gorgias Dissertations - Near East" with the above publication. The aim of the series is to disseminate doctoral dissertations in the field of Near Eastern studies (ancient, medieval and modern)  in paperback and eBook formats. Authors interested in submitting a dissertation may email gkiraz@... with a proposal, including an abstract, a table of contents, sample chapters, as well as the contact information of at least two scholars who are familiar with the work (preferably members of the examination committee).

      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 faithful.

      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.


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