St Isaac the Syrian and His Spiritual Legacy

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Editor: Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev

St Isaac the Syrian, also known as St Isaac of Nineveh, was a Christian hermit of the seventh century who lived in present day Iraq. His writings are so widely revered that he is venerated as a saint by both the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Churches. While his writings and influence are universally acclaimed by Christian theologians today, precious little has been written in English about this towering figure of the Syrian Christian tradition. 

This work is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in the spirituality of St Isaac.

Gathering together many of the world’s authoritative voices on St Isaac, this volume represents the papers delivered at the inaugural International Patristics Conference held in Moscow, 2013.

About the Editor: Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev has authored numerous works on theology and church history, and is an internationally recognized composer of liturgical music. In the words of Patriarch Alexei II of blessed memory, "His many years of service to the mother church, his rich creative activity, and his broad perspective enable him to present the tradition of the Orthodox Church in all its diversity."


  • Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), Introductory Paper: “In Search of a Spiritual Pearl: St Isaac the Syrian and His Works”
  • Sebastian Brock, “Psalmody and Prayer in Isaac the Syrian"
  • Tamara Pataridze, “Isaac from the Monastery of Mar Saba. The History of the Origin of the Multiple Translations of St Isaac the Syrian’s Work and Their Distribution in the Holy Lavra”
  • Marcel Pirard, “Critical Edition of the Greek Version of ‘The Ascetic Homilies of St Isaac the Syrian’ (Monastery of Iviron, 2012)”
  • Sabino Chialà, “The Arabic Version of Saint Isaac the Syrian: A Channel of Transmission of Syriac Literature”
  • Sebastià Janeras,“Some Examples of Changes of Meaning in the Latin and Vernacular Translations of Isaac the Syrian” 
  • John Behr, “St Isaac of Nineveh on the Cross of Christ”
  • Serafim Seppälä, “Angelology of St Isaac the Syrian”
  • Eugeny Barsky and Maxim Kalinin, “Adam in the Third Volume of Isaac the Syrian”
  • Alexey Fokin, “Apocatastasis in the Syrian Christian Tradition: Evagrius and Isaac”
  • Archimandrite Gabriel (Bunge), “From Greek to Syriac—and Back: The Misadventures of a Quotation from Evagrius Ponticus”
  • Hannah Hunt, “The Monk as Mourner: Isaac the Syrian and Monastic Identity in the Seventh Century and Beyond”