Narsai's Homily on Job: A Digital Edition and Translation with Introduction
Potter, William L.
This thesis presents an electronic edition and English translation of a homily on the book of Job written by the fifth-century Syriac poet Mar Narsai. Furthermore, the edition and translation have been encoded in using the eXstensible Markup Language (XML) following the guidelines established by the Text Encoding Initiative for encoding textual sources in a digital format. Along with the edition and translation of the homily on Job, this thesis offers an introduction to the life of Narsai, his writing style, and the extant sources for this homily. The introduction, moreover, explores Narsai's interpretation of the book and character of Job within the context both of late-antique biblical interpretation and of early Syriac asceticism—of which Narsai was a prominent figure. Narsai combines an early Syriac understanding of the Bible as a mirror of divine Truth with a prominent Christian interpretation of Job as a moral exemplar. Furthermore, Narsai refracts this view of Job as moral exemplar through his particular ascetic lens. Narsai thus presents Job as an ascetic mirror, an ascetic par excellence whose narrative serves as a model to be emulated by other ascetics when faced with the vicissitudes of life and the temptations of the Accuser.
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