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St Isaac the Syrian and His Spiritual Legacy

St Isaac the Syrian and His Spiritual Legacy

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Author: Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) (ed.)

Format: Paperback

Pages: 288

St Isaac the Syrian, also known as St Isaac of Nineveh, was a Christian hermit of the seventh century, living in present-day Iraq. His writings are so widely revered that he is venerated as a saint by both the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Churches. While his writings and influence are universally acclaimed by Christian theologians today, precious little has been written in English about this towering figure of the Syrian Christian tradition. Gathering together many of the world’s authoritative voices on St Isaac (including Sebastian Brock and Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev), this volume represents the papers delivered at the inaugural International Patristics Conference held in Moscow, 2013.

This is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in the spirituality of St Isaac.

"Like the limbs of a great tree, the writings of St Isaac branch out to cover a large expanse of the spiritual life. This has only become more apparent with the re-discovery of previously lost works. This excellent collection of essays helps revive many of these neglected branches to life, giving us the opportunity to appreciate anew the beauty and reach of this venerable teacher from the East."

—Fr John Behr, Dean and Professor of Patristics, St Vladimir’s Seminary


  • Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), Introductory Paper: “In Search of a Spiritual Pearl: St Isaac the Syrian and His Works”
  • Sebastian Brock, “Psalmody and Prayer in Isaac the Syrian"
  • Tamara Pataridze, “Isaac from the Monastery of Mar Saba. The History of the Origin of the Multiple Translations of St Isaac the Syrian’s Work and Their Distribution in the Holy Lavra”
  • Marcel Pirard, “Critical Edition of the Greek Version of ‘The Ascetic Homilies of St Isaac the Syrian’ (Monastery of Iviron, 2012)”
  • Sabino Chialà, “The Arabic Version of Saint Isaac the Syrian: A Channel of Transmission of Syriac Literature”
  • Sebastià Janeras,“Some Examples of Changes of Meaning in the Latin and Vernacular Translations of Isaac the Syrian”
  • John Behr, “St Isaac of Nineveh on the Cross of Christ”
  • Serafim Seppälä, “Angelology of St Isaac the Syrian”
  • Eugeny Barsky and Maxim Kalinin, “Adam in the Third Volume of Isaac the Syrian”
  • Alexey Fokin, “Apocatastasis in the Syrian Christian Tradition: Evagrius and Isaac”
  • Archimandrite Gabriel (Bunge), “From Greek to Syriac—and Back: The Misadventures of a Quotation from Evagrius Ponticus”
  • Hannah Hunt, “The Monk as Mourner: Isaac the Syrian and Monastic Identity in the Seventh Century and Beyond”
  • Jean Akiki, “The Ritual of Tears in Isaac of Nineveh”
  • Brouria Bitton-Ashkelony, “‘Reduced to a State of Silence’: Isaac of Nineveh and John of Dalyatha on Self-transformation”
  • Julia Furman, “The Concept of the Temporal World According to John Bar Penkaye and Isaac the Syrian”
  • Natalia Golovnina, “Genres of Ascetic Literature and Its Peculiarities in Syrian Literature (by the Example of Works by St Isaac the Syrian)”
  • Vladimir Baranov, “‘Angels in the Guise of Saints’: A Syrian Tradition in Constantinople”
  • Hegumenos Dionysius (Shlenov), “Isaac the Syrian and Symeon the New Theologian as Teachers of Stillness”
  • Olga Popova, “The Image of Saint Isaac Syrus in Byzantine Art of the 14th Century"
  • Marina Yegorova, “Ascetical Text in the Old Russian Tradition: The Homilies of St Isaac the Syrian and Autocommunication”
  • Archimandrite Vasileios of Iveron, “Abba Isaac and Dostoyevsky: Their Spiritual Relationship”
  • Simonetta Salvestroni, “Isaac of Nineveh and Dostoyevsky’s Work”
  • Patrik Hagman, “Asceticism as Political Theology: The Ascetic as Sacrament in St Isaac of Nineveh”
  • Martin Tamcke, “Understanding Isaac of Nineveh, Foiled by Isaac of Nineveh:Gustav Bickell’s Attempts and the Ethics of Isaac”
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