Title: Isaac of Nineveh (Isaac the Syrian) : The Second Part, Chapters IV-XLI
Binding: Paper Back
Book Condition: New
Publisher: Peeters January 1995
9068317091 / 9789068317091
Seller ID: 87644
The translation of this text from the Syriac fills in critical lacunae in the writings of St. Isaac the Syrian (d. ca. 700) available in English. St. Isaac's writings come down to us in two recensions, an Eastern and a Western. The Western was translated from Syriac into Greek in the ninth century and into English only in 1984 (entitled Ascetical Homilies of St. Isaac the Syrian translated by Dana Miller), out of print for several years. The English translation of the Eastern Syriac recension (translated by A.J. Wensinck in 1923 as Mystic Treatises) is now virtually unfindable. A major portion of the Syriac text was lost until Sebastian Brock found it in a manuscript in the Bodleian in 1983 and published this translation in 1995. Through this complicated and tenuous path we now have access to writings of St. Isaac not found in the Ascetical Homilies on such themes as stillness, undistracted prayer, the relationship between ascetical effort and spiritual progress, between body, mind, and intellect (in their very specific senses), on humility and providence, and the chastising rather than retributive nature of Gehenna- Gehenna as penitentiary (in the literal sense) rather than prison. This last- most attractive yet perilous and controversial- teaching should not detract us from the wisdom inherent in every phrase preceding it, including this on the Cross: ''Satan and all his tyranny is in terror of the form of the Cross, when it is depicted by us against him... n the ministry that takes place with the Cross, sin has become like a spider's web on which a heavy object is hung and it no longer succeeds in standing up. And as for death, which had been so fearful for human nature, now even women and children can hold up their heads against it.'' 321 pp.