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Michael The Syrian And Syriac Orthodox Identity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the concept of Syriac Orthodox identity in the chronicle by Michael the Great as it is expressed in terms for self-designation and in the structure of the narrative. The heritage of the ancient Near East, based on ethnical and historical conception of the Arameans since the times of ancient empires was a very important element of the identity. Just as important to him was the historical legitimacy of the Orthodox Church as a group excluding other Aramaic-speaking Christians. This conception of identity was complex and multi-layered, comprising ethnic, historic, cultural, and religious elements. The Syriac Orthodox identity had been under polemical attack, against which both historical and theological answers were formulated over the centuries. At the same time, Michael can be a witness only for a certain group and a certain region. He speaks mainly for the Syriac-speaking regions of the Syriac Orthodox world and the clergy.

Keywords: Aramaic; Arameans; Christians; chronicle; Michael Rabo; orthodox church; Syriac orthodox identity; Syrian



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