I’ve been working some very long days this week, which has left no time for anything in the real world. So here are a few notes about this and that.
On my bedside table here in the hotel is an interesting book, which I have had no time to read. It’s published by the Cerf, and is entitled, Christianismes orientaux. The unpromising title hides a very important book. It’s essentially a patrology of the oriental Christians; Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Georgian, etc. There’s an excellent bibliography after each section. The blurb on the website reads:
Filling a gap in French literature, this work was conceived by its editors as an introductory guide to the languages and literatures of the Christian Orient. Its six parts, consecrated to Arabic, Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, Georgian and Syriac, are intended to help beginners to orient themselves by means of a bibliography on the subject. An overall introduction allows the reader to understand the essential unity of a religious thought which expressed itself in different languages, periods and places.
The only portion that I have even looked at so far is that on Georgian, written by Bernard Outtier. It’s very excellent, I can see at once. Sebastian Brock has said that he thinks that an English translation of this section would be a good thing, and I can see why. I wonder if one could induce Dr Outtier to do the sort of thing that Sebastian Brock has done for Syriac; to produce a Brief introduction to Georgian literature in PDF form for circulation online, and perhaps an English tome on the same subject.
The other item on my table has, I confess, at the end of some hard days of concentration, taken precedence over reading a volume in French. It’s Assassins, volume 6 in the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. It’s a thriller, of course, but it is marvellous to see Revelation translated into such a format so believably!
It is really important to read Christian books. The mental environment in which we swim will determine our attitudes. People wrote them for us. Enjoy them!
Mark Vermes has been in contact to say that the Chrysostom sermon that he is translating is nearly done. I had hoped to get him to do a selection of other Greek texts as well, but sadly he will be otherwise engaged shortly. Pity!