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Eastern Christian Worlds

Zibawi, Mahmoud

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ISBN 10: 0814623751 / ISBN 13: 9780814623756
Published by Liturgical Press, Collegeville MN, 1995
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Eastern Christian Worlds

Publisher: Liturgical Press, Collegeville MN

Publication Date: 1995

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

About this title


For a thousand years the Christian Church, East and West, shared a common artistic spirit that continued in the East long after humanism had prevailed in the art of the West. In this book, Mahmoud Zibawi explores that spirit as it has been manifested in four regions: Syria-Mesopotamia, Armenia, Egypt, and Ethiopia. By tracing the political, religious, and cultural outlines of these regions, he shows that the Christian communities of each were indeed a "world," but a world of unending change. Time after time, these communities found themselves torn apart by doctrinal controversies, persecutions, political upheavals, foreign conquests. But through all the centuries as the author stresses, their religious art, "images of eternity," reflected the one primordial vision of Eastern Christianity, that of the unseen face of God reflected in the many faces of transfigured humanity in a world redeemed and radiant.
The more than 280 illustrations, 96 in color, amply demonstrate that this art was universal and multi-cultural. "Exchange and communion" surmounted religious, racial, cultural, and political divisions: Jacobites and Melchites decorated one another's churches; Ethiopians and Armenians settled in Jerusalem; Muslims and Christians shared a common desire to glorify the divine Transcendence.

From the Inside Flap:

Mahmoud Zibawi's stunning book takes the reader on a journey to spiritual galaxies that have been too long neglected, although they are Christian universes and fiercely faithful to what was given at the beginning. With a majestic sweep, it presents, through both images and texts, a breath-taking view of Middle Eastern Churches?past and present?specifically in Syria, Armenia, Egypt, and Ethiopia. Many of these icons have never before been seen in print; most will appear new?and unique?as they differ in style from their Greek cousins. ?Today these Churches, which are whole cultures, whole worlds, are diminished and threatened. Their art, including the present-day attempts at renewal, has been debased by the invasion of the second-rate products of Western pietism. At the very time the spiritual desert spreads, Mahmoud Zibawi reminds us?and this reminder is as good as a promise?that throughout the Christian and Muslim worlds of the East, and even farther, over deep Asia, a unique and diverse river of beauty once flowed, bringing peace and light, and that, therefore, it can do so again, provided we learn, in the very movement of the great Western 'quest,' to rediscover its source.??from the preface.?One gets the impression that the author has a wonderfully inclusive knowledge of his subject. He succeeds admirably in bringing to life in all their complexity the multi-dimensional stories of the Christian communities in question. And their art tells their stories as no text alone has or could.? Religion and the Arts?... is not just a fine contribution to the broader history of the icon but shows the art of a vast and believing segment of the church, a communion too frequently neglected, if not forgotten, in the West.? Commonweal?With more than 280 illustrations, 96 in full color, he amply demonstrates his thesis that this art is universal and multi-cultural. The art of these Middle Eastern Churches is not well-known in the West. This is a splendid introduction to it.? The Priest?Zibawi's marvelous book ... reveals the author's scholarship as theologian and historian. It is a beautifully presented work.? Anglican Theological Review

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