Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Book on Newly Discovered Church Father Available as Preview at Google Books

Yes it's a only preview but Panayiotis Tzamalikos's "discovery of a new Greek Father, namely, Cassian the Sabaite, who, by means of Medieval forgery, has been heretofore eclipsed by a figment known as ‘John Cassian of Marseilles" is available for people who are interested here.  As Tzamalikos notes "theologians such as Cassian felt that they could well retain their Antiochene identity and the concomitant admiration for the Antiochene doctors, while at the same time cherishing the works of Clement, Origen, Didymus, and Cyril of Alexandria" (p. 260). What makes this interesting of course is that at the very time Cassian was writing the anti-Origenist Cyril of Scythopolis was pretending that the 'Origenists' were being repelled by St Saba himself. Of course as Tzamalikos notes Cyril didn't have a clue who or what Origen was about. 'Origenist' and related terminologies were little more than slogans akin to 'Marxist' today in certain circles.

The book helps prove that the neo-Alexandrian community at Mar Saba were very interested in Clement of Alexandria already in the fifth and sixth centuries. The new Church Father is "Cassian the Sabaite of Scythopolis (c. 475 - 548)." The Mar Saba monastery was founded apparently in 483 CE and St Saba himself died in 532. Cassian then (and his habits) are reflective of St Saba himself according to the author.

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