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The Making of the Medieval Middle East$
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Jack Tannous

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691179094

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691179094.001.0001

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‘Confusion in the Land’

‘Confusion in the Land’

(p.85) Chapter 3 ‘Confusion in the Land’
The Making of the Medieval Middle East

Jack Tannous

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on Jacob of Edessa's treatises. Jacob of Edessa was perhaps the most learned Miaphysite in the world in his day, with a deep knowledge of the Christian tradition in both Greek and Syriac. Apparently, some people in Jacob's day held to the view that merely having correct belief was sufficient to make one a Christian; this was a view that Jacob strongly rejected. Being a Christian demanded both proper belief and proper action. For Jacob, Christianity was that by which “we are distinguished and different from all the pagan nations and the Jews, those who are in error and wicked and without law.” To deny the canons, therefore, was to surrender nothing less than one's Christian identity. As such, Jacob took these rules of the Church with utmost seriousness and left behind a sizeable body of material relating to their proper observation.

Keywords:   Jacob of Edessa, Miaphysite, Christian tradition, Christianity, Christian identity, canons

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