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Healing in the Theology of Saint Ephrem by Aho Shemunkasho

By Aho Shemunkasho

Ephrem, the main celebrated author of the Syriac Church, offers a variety of theological topics and photographs which are attribute of fourth-century Syrian Christianity. an important topic that nobody has but studied in Ephrem, or in the other Syriac author for that topic, is the idea that of illness and therapeutic. during six chapters, this e-book provides the importance of therapeutic theology and the ways that the therapeutic of guy - spiritually, mentally, and corporally - is extremely valued via Ephrem.

After an introductory dialogue at the position of historic medication in society with appreciate to faith, philosophy, and technological know-how, the ebook considers the idea that of therapeutic and therapeutic imagery in 3 chosen Syriac works that predate Ephrem: the Odes of Solomon, the Acts of the Apostle Judas Thomas, and Aphrahat's Demonstrations. this is often through a close presentation of Ephrem's therapeutic terminology, reading using major phrases on the subject of disease and therapeutic, and the way Ephrem's utilization compares with comparable phrases hired within the Bible. The publication then specializes in Ephrem's exegesis of biblical passages that take care of therapeutic, how he comprises Biblical references to therapeutic and illness in his theological language, and the way he develops and makes use of them in his arguments opposed to heresies and fake interpretations of God's word.

The major a part of the booklet offers with the explanations of non secular affliction and the method of therapeutic, and how within which Ephrem areas them within the divine historical past of salvation. the reason for non secular affliction is sin that's the results of the misuse of man's loose will and the impression of man's enemy, i.e., devil, the Evil One. Ephrem knows Adam and Eve's expulsion from paradise as a "fall" right into a country of disorder. God offers heavenly medication for humanity, first via His selected humans, the patriarchs and the prophets, after which via His Son who's the health practitioner par excellence and the drugs of lifestyles that also is found in the Church's sacraments for the trustworthy.

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31 Tob 2:10; 6:7-16; 8:1-3; 11:8-14. See G. Vermes, Jesus the Jew (New York 1973), 61; Kee, Medicine, 21. 136. 33 IQ GenAp 20:12-29; 4QOrNab; Kee has own definition of medicine, miracle and magic, see Kee’s Medicine, 3-4; 24-25. 28 29 10 INTRODUCTION chapter five, ‘Medicine and Faith in Early Christianity’, Amundsen outlines the relationship between natural medicine and Christian theology, based on the doctrines of various Church Fathers. Some of them believed that diseases are a result of a natural cause, others considered the source of illnesses to be supernatural.

56 He has looked at the relationship of the ascetic to his body, health and sickness. Referring to the life of St Antony, Temkin says: ‘Antony’s mode of life broke all the rules of Hippocratic hygiene. ’57 Although the ascetics considered Jesus to be the perfect Healer of both soul and body, they did not have a hostile attitude towards the ordinary medicine and physician. In their opinion ordinary medicine and physical doctors were God’s arrangements for the weak and for those without faith, because God does not want to destroy utterly sinful human beings.

25 Hogan points out that illness was accepted as God’s punishment for the sins of an individual or of the People, and that the ultimate healer is God. 26 Furthermore, he refers not only to the healing aspect in Ben Sira, but to the whole of Hebrew Scripture in general, including the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, and the New Testament, Dead Sea Scrolls, Philo of Alexandria and Josephus. 27 Likewise he outlines five ‘means’ of healing, considering ‘God as 23 24 826. 25 48. Noorda, 215. Cf. J. Hempel, ‘Ich bin der Herr, dein Arzt’, in ThLZ 82 (1957), 809L.

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