Finding a Home: The West Syriac Context of the Clementine Epistles on Chastity

8 July, 2024

We are deeply honoured to welcome Dr Dan Batovici from KU Leuven to lead a session of the Eastern Christianity in Interfaith Contexts Reading Group.

Here are the details of this fascinating event.

Title: Finding a Home: The West Syriac Context of the Clementine Epistles on Chastity

Abstract: The two epistles De virginitate attributed to Clement of Rome seem to have been composed in Greek but only survived as a whole in Syriac. The publication of the Syriac text, known until recently from only one witness of the fifteenth century, led then to the double identification of a handful of excepts in Greek, quoted without attribution in one late-antique exegetical work, and of the fragment of one Coptic witness. The Syriac, however, remains the most interesting. Since the last edition (Beelen, 1856), a series of new witnesses have emerged that further document what was initially thought to be a fluke due to a scribal confusion: the fact that the two epistles are included as an integral part in several Syriac New Testament collections. This lecture aims to reconstruct the West Syrian context that led to this inclusion, which alone should probably be credited with the survival of the two epistles.

Speaker’s Biography: Dan Batovici is a senior research associate in the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at KU Leuven. He works broadly on the reception of early Christian literature, usually aiming to combine manuscript studies with cultural history. He is currently completing a four-year project on the Coptic, Syriac, and Armenian manuscript reception of the so-called ‘Apostolic Fathers.’  

Chair: Professor Sebastian Brock, FBA, University of Oxford, UK.

Date: 8 July, 2024

Time: 17:00-18:00 BST | 9:00-10:00 PDT | 12:00-13:00 EDT

Venue: online

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