Friday, 1 May 2015

Elif Tokay: The Holy Spirit in the Syriac and Arabic Translations of Gregory Nazianzen's Orations

This paper explores Gregory Nazianzen’s pneumatology as it is expressed in the Syriac and Arabic translations of his orations. It particularly focuses on the way that these oriental versions of Gregory’s orations transmitted his pneumatology, which was shaped with the help of Greek philosophy and some oriental traits. In other words, it asks whether and in what ways this theology underwent change and transformation in its new garbs. Therefore, this paper includes an evaluation of the pneumatology of the period in which the Arabic translations of Gregory’s orations were made. In addition to the fact that the Arabic translator consulted the Syriac versions of these orations, the Syriac translations help us build our understanding of the pneumatology of Christian Arabic theology in the medieval period. This research aims to make a contribution to this particular field in which there is a lack of study on either the doctrine of the Holy Spirit or related subjects such as ethics and mystical theology. It provides an interesting example of the transmission of a fourth-century patristic text in a totally different intellectual environment which Arabic set its seal upon it.

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