This course builds on The Syriac Fathers I and II– but can be taken as a separate course as well. The course will cover the fathers from the Middle Ages until the present day. We will start our study with Bar-‘Ebroyo, the Syriac equivalent to Thomas Aquinas in the Latin Church, followed by the fathers of the Ottoman empire and the split between the different Patriarchates which were re-united 1839. The genocide Sayfo will also be discussed and studied in its historical context. We will focus on the work of Patriarch Ephrem Barsoum and metropolitans such as Youhanon Dolabani. We will also look at the modern-day work of the late Patriarch Zakka Iwas and of the present Patriarch, Aphrem II. We will also discuss the ecumenical movement and the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch. Finally, the present situation of the Syrian Orthodox Church in the Swedish context will be discussed and analyzed.
By the end of the course students should be able to
- Describe the development of the Syrian Orthodox Church from the time of Bar-‘Ebroyo up to modern time.
- Be able to understand and assess the split within the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch from 1293-1839
- Consider the Syriac genocide, Sayfo, in its historical context, perceptions within and implication on the Syrian Orthodox Community.
- Reflect upon the contribution of Patriarch Ephrem Barsoum and his attempt to maintain diversity within the Syriac tradition.
- Be able to appreciate the contribution of modern-day Patriarchs of the Syrian Orthodox Church such as Zakka Iwas and Ephrem II.