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The Spiritual Wisdom of the Syriac Book of Steps

Robert A. Kitchen

Robert A. Kitchen is the minister of Knox-Metropolitan United Church, Regina, Saskatchewan. He read for the Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford under the guidance of Sebastian P. Brock. With Martien F. G. Parmentier he translated The Syriac Book of Steps (Cistercian Publications, 2004). He has written also on Philoxenos of Mabbug and Dadisho Qatraya.

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The anonymous fourth-century Syriac author of the Book of Steps wrote to and about his local Christian community. It is a manual of Christian living written before monasticism had taken its traditional shape. However, the distinction between the duties and expectations of ‘the Perfect’ and ‘the Upright’ hint at a development towards monastic life. Robert Kitchen points out that the text has always had trouble getting noticed; to put this teaching into a modern context he summarizes the content of its thirty chapters, and gives a short commentary on a core passage from each one.


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49 pages

140 x 210 mm

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Fairacres Publications








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