The Poetic Hymns of Saint Ephrem the Syrian: A Study in the Religious Use of Poetry in Fourth-Century Christianity

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9780773440685: The Poetic Hymns of Saint Ephrem the Syrian: A Study in the Religious Use of Poetry in Fourth-Century Christianity

By outlining the writings of Ephrem, an early Christian scholar, the book describes how humans can understand God through the mystery of the Eucharist. Ephrem's thought is revealed to us through the language of symbols and allusions, and his legacy as a theologian lies in his commitment to the Scriptural narrative. Ephrem's theological approach is also a representative demonstration of the tradition of Syriac Christian theology and symbolic poetry at the time. This thesis explores Ephrem's Eucharistic theology as it is expressed in his poetic Hymns. The aim of the study is to look into various definitions of Eucharist that Ephrem offers in his writings. This study looks at the way Ephrem describes the physicality of the sacraments. It presents an analysis of specific Hymns of Ephrem, which are selected for their affiliation to the Eucharist. This exercise allows us to gather enough textual evidence to identify the main aspects of Ephrem's Eucharistic theology, while giving credit to his unique way of expressing his theology. As an outcome of the research there is an attempt to present the reasons behind Ephrem's theological understanding and appropriation of the myster of the Eucharist by means of highly poetic and symbolic language.

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"St. Ephrem is justly renowned for his striking, rich, and profound use of the Syriac language, which finds its fullest expression in his remarkable and evocative poetry, examined most astutely in this text." (Prof. Robert Hayward Durham University)"

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