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Syriac Spirit

We continue our sampling of the new, just-released third volume of Letter & Spirit, the St. Paul Center‘s annual academic journal. Last week I baited the hook with Cardinal Avery Dulles’s study of the Church and the kingdom and Gary Anderson’s discussion of the “treasury of merit” in the ancient rabbis and Church Fathers. Today we turn eastward as we consider Carmelite Father Emmanuel Kaniyamparampil’s of “feminine-maternal images of the Holy Spirit” in the Syriac Fathers. Here’s Scott Hahn’s summary, in the volume’s general introduction:

In our Tradition & Traditions section, we retrieve an important theological motif from the early Christian tradition. Emmanuel Kaniyamparampil looks at feminine-maternal images of the Holy Spirit in Syriac Christianity, a tradition with close linguistic and historic roots to the first Jewish Christians. This is a careful study that shows the biblical roots of this metaphor and its possibilities for fruitful reflection on the role of the Spirit in the life of the believer.

Scott Hahn has covered some of the same ground in an essay posted online.

Father Kaniyamparampil is a patristics scholar and seminary professor based in Bangalore, India. He received his doctorate in sacred theology from the Catholic University of Paris. He is a longtime correspondent of mine and a great promoter of The Fathers of the Church in India.

Remember: the third volume of Letter & Spirit is part of the registration package for each and every person who attends our Letter & Spirit conference — this very weekend. Please consider going. You’ll hear some of the Fathers’ greatest living interpreters, and you really can’t beat the price! Hope to see you there!

3 thoughts on “Syriac Spirit

  1. This conference will indeed be the best Letter and Spirit to date… and the new issue of the journal is phenomenal!

  2. St Ephrem the Syrian developed feminine-maternal images for the Holy Spirit in his hymns. He often linked these to the blessed Theotokos, as here: “Creation gives birth to the symbols of Christ, as Mary gave birth to His limbs.” (Hymns on Virginity, 6.7)

  3. Unfortunately, I’ll have to miss the conference. There’s just too much going on here, and I can’t get away. Maybe next time!


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