Publications/Jul 13, 2023

The Syriac World: In Search of a Forgotten Christianity

The Syriac World: In Search of a Forgotten Christianity lead image

Francoise Briquel Chatonnet and Muriel Debie. The Syriac World: In Search of a Forgotten Christianity. Translated by Jeffrey Haines. Yale University Press, 2023.

From Yale University Press

Syriac is often referred to as the third main language of Christianity, along with Latin and Greek, and it remains a foundational classical, literary, and religious language throughout the world. Originating in Mesopotamia along the Roman and Parthian frontiers, it was never the language of a powerful state or ethnic group, but with the coming of Christianity it developed into a rich religious and cultural tradition. At the same time that Christianity was making its way through Europe, Syriac missionaries were founding churches from the Mediterranean coast to Persia, converting the Turkic tribes of Central Asia, and building communities in India and China.

This comprehensive work tells the underexplored story of the Syriac world over three thousand years, from its pre-Christian roots in the Aramaic tribes and the ancient Near East to its vibrant expressions in modern diaspora churches. Enhanced with images, songs, poems, and important primary texts, this book shows the importance of Syriac history, theology, and literature in the twenty-first century.