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A Critical Comparison of the So-called ‘Lawsuit’ in the Baptismal Rites of Theodore of Mopsuestia and Narsai of Nisibis

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[Abstract Theodore of Mopsuestia’s baptismal homilies 1-3 and Narsai of Nisibis’ liturgical homilies 21 and 22 are valuable sources concerning the Syrian baptismal liturgy. It is commonly held that Narsai’s rite is heavily influenced by Theodore’s. Some scholars even go that far to picture Narsai as Theodore’s copycat. Such a view would have profound consequences for our perception of continuity and discontinuity within the Eastern baptismal tradition. However, the present comparative study of an often neglected pre-baptismal part of the rite both Narsai and Theodore describe as a “Lawsuit” or “Judgment” (dinā) reveals significant differences between both liturgies that make an exclusive dependance improbable. These differences must be taken into account if we want to get a clear picture of the relationship of both rites with each other and the larger Syrian tradition., Abstract Theodore of Mopsuestia’s baptismal homilies 1-3 and Narsai of Nisibis’ liturgical homilies 21 and 22 are valuable sources concerning the Syrian baptismal liturgy. It is commonly held that Narsai’s rite is heavily influenced by Theodore’s. Some scholars even go that far to picture Narsai as Theodore’s copycat. Such a view would have profound consequences for our perception of continuity and discontinuity within the Eastern baptismal tradition. However, the present comparative study of an often neglected pre-baptismal part of the rite both Narsai and Theodore describe as a “Lawsuit” or “Judgment” (dinā) reveals significant differences between both liturgies that make an exclusive dependance improbable. These differences must be taken into account if we want to get a clear picture of the relationship of both rites with each other and the larger Syrian tradition.]

Affiliations: 1: Boskamp 110, 3343 EB Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht nwitkamp2001@yahoo.com

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/content/journals/10.1163/157007211x561626
2011-01-01
2016-12-08

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