Monthly seminar series: Maroš Nicák

CSCC’s monthly seminar series continues on Thursday 20 January 2022 at 14-16 on Zoom.

Dr. theol. Maroš Nicák will give a talk on: ”Narsai: Poetry and Theology in the Sōgīṯā on Cyril and Nestorius”

Syriac Christianity has been and is often neglected, underestimated and on the fringes of theological interest, due to insufficiently broken down prejudices, the foundations of which were built during the epoch of late antiquity. While Christianity in the Byzantine Empire became the state religion in the 4th century, the unmissable waves of local and widespread persecution were to hit Syriac Christians in Mesopotamia. In recent years, however, paradoxically, interest in the depths of the spiritual wealth of Syriac Christians has increased in European society precisely because of the migration crisis. It is typical for the Syriac tradition to express not only theological views in a poetic form, but also to evaluate historical events from a religious perspective. One of the most notable Syriac poet-theologians living during the persecution of the Sasanian Empire is Narsai, who can rightly be considered one of the main pillars of Syriac patristics. It is Narsai, who lived and wrote his works during the most divisive Christological disputes, who is often credited with the alleged introduction of the ideas of Bishop Nestorius of Constantinople into the Church of the East. The contextual analysis of the dialogic poem (sōgīṯā) on Cyril and Nestorius, written by Narsai according to the Syriac church tradition, points not only to the importance of the poetic form of Syriac theology, but also to their religious assessment by the author based on the fictional theological conversation between Nestorius and Cyril of Alexandria.