About Providence, Divine Action and the Church


In this blog, Terry J. Wright posts thoughts and shares research on the Christian doctrine of providence. This doctrine testifies to God’s provision for all things through creation’s high priest, the man Christ Jesus. However, the precise meaning and manner of this provision is a perpetually open question, and this blog is a forum for discussion of the many issues relating to providence and the place of the Church within God’s action.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Cyriacus of Tagrit on God's Providence

The great thing about being an academic is that occasionally you come across folk you’ve never heard of before. And if you’re a pseudo-academic like me, this happens more than occasionally. So I present to you details about two new (pricey) volumes on Cyriacus of Tagrit – a person so obscure, not even Wikipedia knows of him. (UPDATE: It seems an alternate spelling of 'Cyriacus' is 'Quriaqos' - told you I was a pseudo-academic!)

Here’s the blurb from Gorgias Press:

Mikael Oez, Cyriacus of Tagrit and his Book on Divine Providence, 2 vols. Gorgias Eastern Christian Studies 33 (Gorgias Press, 2012)

Cyriacus of Tagrit was patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch between 793 and 817 under the Abbasid Caliphate, a turbulent and divided period in the history of his church in the Middle East. This work, for the first time, collects together and provides a critical edition and annotated English translation of all of his extant and accessible writings. On the basis of this editorial work, and making use of all other available historical sources, Cyriacus’ concerns and priorities, both theological and ecclesio-political, are contextualised and analysed. The book pays particular attention to his major composition, The Book on Divine Providence which explores such issues as the consequences of human free will and divine omniscience and omnipotence; the causes of evil; the influence, or otherwise, of fates, fortune, and astrology; whether the time of an individual’s death is predetermined; the fate of the soul after death; and the evidence of the working of divine providence throughout history.

The books are divided into six parts in two volumes. Part I, Introductory Considerations, surveys the extant texts and sources by, or relating to, Cyriacus. Part II, Historical Impact, considers the events and consequences of his patriarchal reign. Part III, Cyriacus’ BDP within the Syriac Tradition, compares and contrasts his central ideas with other contemporary Syriac writers. Part IV, Named Theological Sources in Cyriacus’ BDP, examines his patristic citations. Part V contains some Concluding Reflections. Part VI, Texts and Translations, contains the text and translation of all surviving works by Cyriacus.

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