• Sleep of the Soul and Resurrection of the Body: Aphrahat's Anthropology in Context

    Author(s):
    James Walters (see profile)
    Date:
    2019
    Group(s):
    Late Antiquity, Syriac Studies
    Subject(s):
    Syriac, Syriac literature, Patristics, Marcion, Early Christianity
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Manichaeism, resurrection
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/qj28-ek39
    Abstract:
    The fourth-century Syriac corpus known as the Demonstrations, attributed to Aphrahat, the Persian Sage, provides a unique window into the early development of Christianity among Syriac-speaking communities. Occasionally these writings attest to beliefs and practices that were not common among other contemporaneous Christian communities, such as Aphrahat’s apparent belief in the “sleep of the soul” and the implications of that belief for his concept of the soul-body relationship and what happens to the soul and body at the resurrection. Aphrahat addresses this topic in the context of a polemical argument against an unnamed opponent, which provides the occasion to consider whom these arguments might be addressed against. The present article seeks to understand Aphrahat’s views on the body and soul within the broad religious milieu of the eastern Mediterranean world in Late Antiquity. The article concludes with an argument for reading and understanding the Demonstrations as a witness to the contested development of Christian identity in the Syriac-speaking world.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    3 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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