Saturday, December 03, 2011

Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage

Brock, Sebastian, Aaron Butts, George Kiraz, and Lucas Van Rompay. Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage

Title: Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage
Availability: In Press
Publisher: Gorgias Press
Edited by Sebastian Brock
Edited by Aaron Butts
Edited by George Kiraz
Edited by Lucas Van Rompay
ISBN: 978-1-59333-714-8
Availability: In Press
Publication Date: 9/2011
Language: English
Format: Hardback, Black_ColorInsert, 8.25 x 10.75 in
Pages: 612

The Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage (GEDSH) is the first major encyclopedia-type reference work devoted exclusively to Syriac Christianity, both as a field of scholarly inquiry and as the inheritance of Syriac Christians today. In more than 600 entries it covers the Syriac heritage from its beginnings in the first centuries of the Common Era up to the present day. Special attention is given to authors, literary works, scholars, and locations that are associated with the Classical Syriac tradition. Within this tradition, the diversity of Syriac Christianity is highlighted as well as Syriac Christianity’s broader literary and historical contexts, with major entries devoted to Greek and Arabic authors and more general themes, such as Syriac Christianity’s contacts with Judaism and Islam, and with Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, and Georgian Christianities. In addition to the literary tradition, inscriptions and objects of art are given due consideration. The entries are accompanied by 131 illustrations, twenty of which are in color. The volume closes with maps, lists of patriarchs of the main Syriac Churches of the Middle East, and elaborate indices.

GEDSH is a collaborative project that involves seventy-six scholars from across the globe. Three of the four editors are associated with major universities in Europe and the United States: Oxford University, Yale University, and Duke University. The fourth editor is the founding director of Beth Mardutho: The Syriac Institute. GEDSH was carried out under the auspices of Beth Mardutho.

Pricing for scholars and students: $98.00
Pricing for institutions: $160

Friday, December 02, 2011

Wilfred Lambert R.I.P.

WILFRED LAMBERT, R.I.P. I've been meaning to blog on this sad news for some time. Mark Goodacre has a good roundup post: Death of Wilfred Lambert, Obituary and Reflections. I never properly met Professor Lambert, although I did hear him give a lecture in the 1980s when I was a postgraduate student. Much of his work in Assyriology was of direct interest to biblical studies, notably his books on Babylonian wisdom literature and (with Alan Millard) the Atrahasis Epic.

Rebecca Lesses on Praxis and Experience SBL session

REBECCA LESSES has posted her response to the three papers (including mine) in the November SBL session on Praxis and Experience in Ancient Jewish and Christian Mysticism: My response to panel on Religious and Mystical Experience at SBL (Mystical Politics).

Tony Burke on "Erasure History"

TONY BURKE has Reflections on "Erasure History" over at his Apocryphicity blog.

Background here.

New blog: hmmlorientalia

ASSIMILATED TO THE BLOGOSPHERE: Adam McCollum has a new blog: hmmlorientalia: "Some remarks—often with photos!—about manuscripts and the languages, literature, scholarship, and history of Christian culture in the Middle East."

(Via Alin Suciu.)

J. Rendel Harris profiled at Faces & Voices

J. RENDEL HARRIS is profiled by Roberta Mazza at the John Rylands Library blog, Faces & Voices: Archives Fever.

(Via Larry Hurtado.)

Biblical Studies Carnival 69

BIBLICAL STUDIES CARNIVAL 69 (November 2011) has been posted by Deane Galbraith at Remnant of Giants.

New Coptic excavation

A NEW COPTIC EXCAVATION: From Al Masry Al Youm: Ancient Coptic city discovered in New Valley (Al Arabiya News).
We never had an excavation in Ain al-Sabil before,” said [General Mostafa] Amin. “Maybe we’ll find other antiquities that would add to Egypt’s archaeological treasures.”
Manuscripts maybe? Watch this space.

Related, from Alin Suciu: Concordance of the Sahidic New Testament.

A Jewish New Testament

A NEW TESTAMENT EDITION from Marc Brettler and Amy-Jill Levine:
New Testament edition meant for Jews, Christians

Jewish-annotated edition a best-seller on Amazon religion lists

By Charles A. RadinNov. 28, 2011 (Brandeis Now)

It is not often that a bunch of professors’ scholarly work on an ancient religious text shoots past the thrillers, diet fads and self-improvement books that dominate the rapidly changing best-sellers list.

But that’s what happened over Thanksgiving break with the just-published book “The Jewish Annotated New Testament,” edited by Marc Z. Brettler, the Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Studies at Brandeis, and Amy-Jill Levine, the University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt.

The book peaked at number 31 of Amazon’s top 100 in all categories, and while it then settled back a bit it was still number one yesterday in both the “Bible and Other Sacred Texts” and “Christian Reference” categories. It also was the subject of a feature story last weekend in the New York Times.

The editors will hold a book party and discussion at Brandeis at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 8 in the International Lounge of Usdan Hall. Father Walter Cuenin, head of the Brandeis Interfaith Chaplaincy; Rabbi Elyse Winick, the Jewish chaplain, and Barry Shrage, director of Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston also will speak.

“I had this idea after ‘The Jewish Study Bible’ was published,” says Brettler, referring to a similarly organized work that came out in 2004 and won the National Jewish Book Award. “People were excited about that, and I thought it would be interesting to try another such project. The New Testament seemed to be the logical book to do next.”

Amy-Jill Levine also has also recently co-authored a new introduction to the Hebrew Bible.

UPDATE: Rebecca Lesses has links and discussions here, here, and here at Mystical Politics.

Tomb of R. Shimon bar Yohai under state control

Israel's second-most visited Jewish holy site, now under state control

Decision comes about 10 days after High Court turns down petition by a yeshiva that operates at the ancient tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in Meron, against the intention to expropriate the site.

By Eli Ashkenazi (Haaretz)

The cabinet decided Sunday to place the ancient tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai under the management of a special government company under the supervision of the tourism minister.

It is expected to cost approximately NIS 27 million to implement the decision.

Signs leading to men’s and women’s sections at the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in Meron.

About 10 days ago the High Court turned down a petition by a yeshiva that operates at the tomb, located in Meron near Safed in the north, against the intention to expropriate the site.

The yeshiva belongs to a Sephardic hekdesh, a type of organization that traditionally administers properties for charitable purposes.

From several days ago. Background on the site and the rabbi is here.

Knesset archaeology bill update

Scholars slam bill to change makeup of Israel Antiquities Authority

Culture Minister Limor Livnat did not approve Israel Academy of Sciences president's nominations for authority chairman, has submitted Knesset bill that would let her appoint a non-academy member.

By Nir Hasson Tags: Israel culture Knesset (Haaretz)

Culture Minister Limor Livnat previously asked Prof. Oded Abramsky, a neurologist at Jerusalem's Hadassah University Hospital and member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, to serve as chairman of the board of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Haaretz has learned.Livnat turned to Abramsky after rejecting three historians and archaeologists from among the academy's ranks who were nominated by Prof. Ruth Arnon, the academy's president. After this idea proved impractical - possibly because Abramsky refused, though that remains unclear - Livnat submitted a bill to let her appoint someone who isn't an academy member as the authority's chairman.This is impossible under current law.

Cross-file under "Politics."

Background here.

Mughrabi Bridge update

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: This article on the Mughrabi (Mugrabi) Bridge controversy is now several days old.
Israel delays bridge razing at volatile holy site Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:24am GMT

*Bridge leads from Western Wall to al-Aqsa mosque complex

* Muslim religious leader in Jerusalem opposes project

* Israel says wooden ramp unsafe, must be replaced By Maayan Lubell

JERUSALEM, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has delayed demolition of a footbridge at Jerusalem's holiest and most volatile religious site, fearing the work could spark Muslim anger, government officials said on Monday. The wooden ramp, now deemed unsafe by engineers, was erected by Israeli authorities as a stopgap after a snowstorm and earthquake in 2004 damaged the stone bridge leading up from Judaism's Western Wall to the sacred compound where the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock shrine stand. [...]
There's been lots of commentary about this, most recently from Israeli archaeologist Gabriel Barkai: “The Government is Being Dictated To.”

Background here.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Back to Scotland

BACK TO SCOTLAND. My flight leaves this afternoon and I expect to be in St. Andrews again Thursday evening. Sorry for the light blogging lately; it's been hectic here. Likewise, if you have e-mailed me recently, I may not have gotten back to you. I will as soon as I can. I hope to get back to something like a normal routine once I'm home.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

New book: Desreumaux (éd.), "Les mystiques syriaques"

Alain Desreumaux (éd.), Les mystiques syriaques (Etudes syriaques 8, Paris, Geuthner, 2011)
Françoise Briquel Chatonnet has posted the TOC and ordering information here at the Hugoye list.

William Hamblin on my SBL paper

WILLIAM HAMBLIN has posted some thoughtful and insightful comments on my SBL paper at his blog, Hamblin in Jerusalem: Thoughts on James Davila’s SBL Paper (Nov. 2011). When things slow down for me a little (which may not be very soon), I will post some thoughts in reply.