'Just as Jerusalem is the queen of all cities, so too the lavra of Sabas is the prince of all deserts, and so far as Jerusalem is the norm of other cities, so too is St. Sabas the exemplar for other monasteries.' (from The Passion of St. Michael the Sabaite
Founded by St. Savas (439-532) in Palestine between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, the monastery (lavra) of Mar Sava exercised great influence over the monastic life, liturgy, and theology of the Orthodox Church throughout its world down to the present day, its typicon (rules of liturgical practice) being a prime example. This oversized, beautifully produced volume consists of four sections: history and monastic life, literature, liturgy and hymnography, theology, and art and archaeology. It contains essays by notables such as John Thomas (''The Imprint of Sabaitic Monasticism around Mar Saba under Crusader Rule''), Alice-Mary Talbot (''Byzantine Pilgrimage to the Holy Land from the Eighth to the Fifteenth Century''), Sebastian Brock (''Syriac into Greek at Mar Saba: The Translation of St. Isaac the Syrian''), Andrew Louth (''John of Damascus and the Making of the Byzantine Theological Synthesis''), Sidney Griffith (''The Life of Theodore of Edessa: History, Hagiography, and Religious Apologetics'') and many others. A rare opportunity to investigate one of the most important disseminators of Orthodox liturgical life. Includes many monochrome plates of churches and diagrams of archaeological artifacts. 463 pp.
An Eighth Day View:
St. Sabas (439-532 CE), was one of the principal leaders of Palestinian monasticism, that had flourished in the sixth century in the desert of Jerusalem. As an abbot he was the first in Palestine to formulate a monastic rule in writing, and his activity as an ecclesiastical leader bore upon the life of the entire Christian community in the Holy land. He and his monks were active in the theological disputes that affected the fate of the Christian Church of Palestine, and shaped it as a stronghold of Orthodoxy. But his activity has transcended his place and time. His largest monastery - the Great Laura (Mar saba), functioned from the sixth to the ninth century as the intellectual centre of the See of Jerusalem. The most distinguished among its authors were Cyril of Scythopolis, Leontius of Byzantium, John Moschus and Sophronius, Antiochus Monachos, John of Damascus, Cosmas the Hymnographer, Leontius of Damascus and Stephen Mansur. Their treatises on dogma, and prayer, shaped Orthodox theology, liturgy and hymnography in Palestine and beyond. This literary activity in Greek was complemented by scribal activity of copying and translating of Greek manuscripts into Arabic and Georgian. There was also original composition in Arabic by Theodore Abu Qurrah and others. Monastic life in Mar Saba, that continued under Muslim rule with only short intermissions, preserved the Sabaite tradition, and contributed to its reputation, parallel to that of Jerusalem. Sabaite monks were renown as paragons of monasticism and dogma, who had inspired monastic and ecclesiastical reformers in later centuries throughout the Orthodox world. Its fame spread far and wide, from Rome and North Africa in the west, to Serbia, Russia and Georgia in the east, affecting Christian dogma and liturgy therein. The thirty-one studies included in this volume, each written by an expert in his field, present the various facets of the Sabaite heritage in the Orthodox Church, from the sixth century to the present.