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Document Details :

Title: Jacob van Sarug
Subtitle: Homilie over het Geboortefeest
Author(s): DEN BIESEN, Kees
Journal: Journal of Eastern Christian Studies
Volume: 48    Issue: 3-4   Date: 1996   
Pages: 183-194
DOI: 10.2143/JECS.48.3.2003102

Abstract :
Jacob of Sarug: Homily on the Nativity
Jacob of Sarug (±450-521) is one of the most prolific writers of the early Syriac tradition. After his studies at the famous theological and exegetical 'School of the Persians' at Edessa, he dedicated himself to parish work for several decades, putting his poetic talents in the service of his pastoral activities. In the midst of the theological whirls of his time he maintained an irenic and conciliatory position siding with the moderate monophysite party of Severus of Antioch and sticking by the 'agnostic' and anti-intellectualistic tradition of Ephrem. His ecclesiastical and theological ambitions were too modest to ensure him a leading position in the Church politics of his time and we hardly know any details of his life. In a way he took revenge on history thanks to the large quantity and enormous popularity of his literary work. Whereas Jacob composed hundreds of metrical homilies called mēmrē, his prose texts comprise only 43 letters and six tūrgāmē? or homilies on the main liturgical feasts. The first of these homilies, 'On the Nativity', is presented here in a Dutch translation along with an explanation of its literary structure and some explanatory notes.