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Ephrem'S Doctrine Of God

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Chapter Summary

Ephrem the Syrian (ca. 306-373ce) was one of the most prolific of early Syriac Christian authors, and arguably the most influential: his symbolic theology with its rich imagery shaped Syriac Christianity for centuries to come. Ephrem's extant works fall into three groups, namely prose works, metrical treatises, and poetry. Ephrem formulated his doctrine of God to a significant extent with apologetic purposes in mind, and therefore the notion of God embraced by his opponents is outlined briefly in this chapter. The chapter then addresses Ephrem's conviction that God is both hidden and revealed, his epistemology, and his understanding of the function and limit of theological language about God. Next, Ephrem's theology of names, which stands at the center of his notion of God, is discussed in some detail, as will be several of his more prominent metaphors for God. Finally, Ephrem's trinitarian thought is addressed.

Keywords: doctrine of God; Ephrem the Syrian; metrical treatises; Syriac Christianity; theological language



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