Lecture: “Ephrem’s Economic Self: Metaphors for the Moral Life”
Who: Professor Jeffery Wickes, Saint Louis University
When: Thursday April 3, 2014, 11:00 am
Where: 3716 HBLL (South Entrance), Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
About the Lecture:
The earliest strains of biblical tradition depict sin using the language of “stain” or “burden.” But a range of economic metaphors for describing the moral life soon developed in post-biblical Aramaic culture. The Syriac poet Ephrem (d. 373 CE) uses these economic metaphors to describe his own poetic project. This presentation traces the development of this economics of the self, and asks why Ephrem used an explicitly moral vocabulary to depict himself and his theological poems.
About the Speaker:
Professor Jeffery Wickes works on literature and theology in the late ancient Christian East (Greek, Syriac, Armenian). He took his PhD from the University of Notre Dame, where he wrote a dissertation entitled “Out of Books, A World: The Scriptural Poetics of Ephrem’s Hymns on Faith.” Before joining the department of theology at SLU, he spent a fellowship year (2011-12) at Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks Research Library. He has an English translation of Ephrem the Syrian’s Hymns on Faith forthcoming with Catholic University of America Press (Fathers of the Church series).
This installment of CPART’s “Late Antiquity Lectures” is sponsored by BYU’s Ancient Near Eastern Studies Program; Asian and Near Eastern Languages; and the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship.