Monday, March 8, 2021

Fr Alexander Treiger: Canonical Responses of the Patriarch Mark III of Alexandria

This article appears in Chronos 41 (2020), 1-35. Mark III is otherwise known for his having visited Constantinople, where he submitted 40 canonical questions that were answered by the titular Patriarch of Antioch, Theodore Balsamon. Those questions and answers have been translated by Fr Patrick Viscuso and published under the title Guide for a Church under Islam (reviewed here).


Unpublished Texts from the Arab Orthodox Tradition (4): Canonical Responses of the Patriarch Mark III of Alexandria to the Abbot George of Damietta

Abstract:

The fourth installment in the "Unpublished Texts from the Arab Orthodox Tradition" series makes accessible a neglected document from the Orthodox Christian tradition in Arabic: canonical responses of the Chalcedonian Orthodox patriarch Mark III of Alexandria (r. ca. 1180-ca. 1209) to his spiritual son George, the abbot of the monastery of St. Jeremiah near Damietta. The article includes an edition and an English translation of this text.


Read and download the entire article here.

Constantin Panchenko: Orthodoxy and Islam in the Middle East, The Seventh to the Sixteenth Century

Holy Trinity Seminary Press has just released Orthodoxy and Islam in the Middle East, The Seventh to the Sixteenth Century, by Constantin Panchenko, which is a revision and expansion of the first section of his essential book Arab Orthodox Christians under the Ottomans 1516-1831, covering Orthodoxy in the Levant in the pre-Ottoman period.

The publisher says:

Conflict or concord? The history of Islam, from its emergence in early seventh century Arabia and its explosive growth into the wider Middle East, is often portrayed as a story of the struggle with and conquest of the Christian people of Greater Syria, Palestine, and Egypt. Alternatively, the appearance of Islam is characterized as being welcomed by the conquered, whose existing monotheistic faiths of Christianity and Judaism were tolerated and even allowed to flourish under Muslim rule.

In this concise but in depth survey of the almost nine centuries that passed from the beginning of the spread of Islam up to the Ottoman Turkish conquest of Syria and Egypt beginning in 1516, Constantin Panchenko offers a more complex portrayal of this period that opens up fresh vistas of understanding, focusing on the impact that the appearance of Islam had on the many forms of Christianity they encountered, principally the Orthodox Christian communities of the Middle East. In particular he illuminates the interplay of their Greek cultural heritage with increasing Arabization over time.

This is essential reading for those who want to gain an understanding of the history of the Middle East in these centuries and of how the faith of Orthodox Christians in these lands is lived today.

 Order it here.

 

 

Friday, February 5, 2021

New Antiochian Orthodox Monastery in Germany

The Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Germany has recently acquired a former Roman Catholic monastery in the town of Blankenheim (in the Eiffel hills about an hour southwest of Bonn and 90 minutes east of Liège, Belgium), where they plan to establish a women's monastery and retreat center. The property requires extensive renovations and Archdiocese is now raising funds to that end.

For a video about the site, the plans for it and a way to contribute, visit the GoFundMe.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Joe Glynias: Byzantine Monasticism on the Black Mountain West of Antioch in the 10th-11th Centuries

Joe Glynias, "Byzantine Monasticism on the Black Mountain West of Antioch in the 10th-11th Centuries," Studies in Late Antiquity 4.4 (2020), 408-451.

 Abstract:

This article sheds light on a hitherto unexplored phenomenon that alters our picture of Byzantine monasticism: the monastic culture of the Black Mountain outside Antioch. From 969-1084, the Black Mountain thrived as a destination for a variety of Chalcedonian monks: Greek-speaking Romans, Arabic-speaking Melkites, Georgians, and Armenians. I illustrate the prosperity of monastic life on the Black Mountain, the scholarly activity flourishing in and between languages, and the networks connecting the mountain to monasteries inside and outside of Byzantium.

In this paper, I examine three bodies of source material: manuscripts produced at the Black Mountain, texts produced by its scholars, and the letters of Nikon of the Black Mountain. Colophons in Greek, Arabic, Syriac, and Georgian manuscripts display the active scribal culture of these monasteries. Scholars centered at St. Symeon produced scores of translations from Greek into Arabic and Georgian that illustrate the lasting impact of this multilingual intellectual atmosphere. Nikon’s letters provide the basis for a cultural history of Antiochene monasticism. From these and other sources, I show that the Black Mountain was a major hub in middle Byzantine monastic networks. At the same time when Athos was assuming a primary role in the western Orthodox monastic world, the Black Mountain was performing a similar function in the east.

Read the whole article here.