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Isaac of Nineveh's Ascetical Eschatology$
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Jason Scully

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198803584

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198803584.001.0001

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The East-Syriac Reception of Evagrius’s Gnostic Chapters

The East-Syriac Reception of Evagrius’s Gnostic Chapters

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 The East-Syriac Reception of Evagrius’s Gnostic Chapters
Source:
Isaac of Nineveh's Ascetical Eschatology
Author(s):

Jason Scully

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198803584.003.0001

The first chapter demonstrates that even though Isaac quotes Evagrius throughout much of his writing, Isaac does not adopt Evagrius’s eschatological framework. In order to reach this conclusion, this chapter conducts a detailed comparison of two Syriac translations of the Gnostic Chapters, which is the Evagrian text that Isaac quotes most often. While the sixth-century Syriac version of the Gnostic Chapters includes a detailed eschatological consideration of the human soul in the future world, the fifth-century Syriac version is void of any distinctive eschatological framework. Since Isaac only used the fifth-century Syriac version of the Gnostic Chapters, he cannot have derived his eschatological framework from Evagrius. Rather, following Babai the Great, who established a framework for interpreting the fifth-century Syriac version of the Gnostic Chapters, Isaac interprets Evagrius’s Gnostic Chapters as a work describing the journey of asceticism.

Keywords:   Evagrius, Babai, Gnostic Chapters, eschatology, history of translation, Antoine Guillaumont

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