2024 ZERNOV LECTURE 'The Ecumenical Journey of the Writings of St Isaac the Syrian’

Introduction by David G.K. Taylor (Associate Professor in Aramaic and Syriac, Wolfson College, Oxford)

Dr Sebastian Brock FBA, University of Oxford
‘The Ecumenical Journey of the Writings of St Isaac the Syrian’

Sebastian Brock is a leading authority in the field of Syriac studies which he taught for many years in the University of Oxford, where he remains Emeritus (www.ames.ox.ac.uk/people/sebastian-p-brock), and Fellow of the British Academy. He is widely recognised for his important work translating Syriac texts, especially those of 4th to 7th centuries, and making better known the mediating role of textual translation in late Antiquity, especially the cultural interface between Syriac and Greek. Among his many publications are The Luminous Eye: The Spiritual World Vision of St Ephrem (1985), The Wisdom of Isaac of Nineveh [Syriac-English] (Piscataway NJ, 2006), A Brief Outline of Syriac Literature (2nd edition 2011); The Bible in the Syriac Tradition (3rd edition 2023); An Inventory of Syriac Texts Published from Manuscripts in the British Library (2020). This lecture will explore the way in which the texts of the 7th century Isaac the Syrian form part of a multi-dimensional Christian heritage.

The lecture will be followed by a cheese and wine reception. All welcome.

The Zernov Lecture is an annual event hosted jointly by the House of St Gregory and St Macrina Oxford, the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius and the St Theosevia Centre for Christian Spirituality, charities working in the field of Eastern Christian studies. It honours the memory of the Orthodox theologian and worker for Christian unity, Nicolas Zernov (1898-1980), whose vision lay behind the founding of these charities. The charities are pleased to be collaborating for this lecture with the Maison française d’Oxford (www.mfo.ac.uk), especially given the connections between the Paris School of Theology and Oxford which Zernov represented.