Zabolotnyi Evgenii

Reception to the Antiochene tradition by East Syrians: monasteries vs. Schools

Zabolotnyi Evgenii (2019) "Reception to the Antiochene tradition by East Syrians: monasteries vs. Schools ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia III : Filologiia, 2019, vol. 61, pp. 38-52 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturIII201961.38-52


As is known, from the 5th to early 7th centuries, the Church of the East, which existed in Sasanian Iran, was adopting the Christological teaching of the School of Antioch. A study of the Syriac and Greek sources allows one to divide this process into two parts, i.e. the reception of Christology of Theodore of Mopsuestia and the reception of the doctrine of Nestorius which were carried out by Narsai († not earlier than 502) and Babai the Great († between 628 and 630) respectively. In this connection, it is important to study the problem of institutions which furthered the perception of Theodorianism and Nestorianism among the East Syrians. This article shows that up to the mid-6th century, the reception of the Antiochene tradition was carried out through the schools of Edessa and Nisibis, rather than through monasteries. Moreover, at the beginning of this period the monastic tradition was not particularly strong. This situation already started to be changed by Catholicos Mar Aba I (537/40– 552). However, it is Babai the Great who united the two traditions, i.e. the academic tradition, which had its origin in the activity of Narsai and his relative Abraham of Beth-Rabban († 569), and the monastic tradition, associated with Abraham of Kashkar († 588), the founder of the Great Monastery on Mount Izla. It was Babai who was the third abbot of this monastery and later the actual locum tenens of the see of Seleucia- Ctesiphon, who turned East Syrian monasteries into centres of the Nestorianisation of the Church of the East.


schools of Edessa and Nisibis, Syriac Christianity, East Syrian tradition, Nestorianism, monasticism, intellectual history, Church of the East, Persia, Byzantium, Syria, Narsai, Mar Aba Ι, Babai the Great, Nestorius, Theodore of Mopsuestia


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Information about the author

Zabolotnyi Evgenii

Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in History;
Place of work: Lomonosov Moscow State University; Lomonosovsky prospect, 27–4, Moscow 119991, Russian Federation;
Post: Researcher;
ORCID: 0000–0002–0629–747X;
Email: e.zabolotnyj20@mail.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.


The reported study was funded by RFBR, project number 19–29–07549.