The Book of the Cause of Causes

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There is an anonymous work entitled the Book of the Cause of Causes which has come down to us. The author was probably a West Syriac writer, working in the 10th century.[1]

The author identifies himself as a bishop of Edessa who has resigned and retired to the contemplative life. In consequence he has sometimes been identified with Jacob of Edessa, but this is impossible as the author plainly lived several centuries later.

The work describes itself as "a book in common for all peoples under heaven, on knowledge of truth, how it is known." It deals with wide theological problems of the relationship between God and mankind, and attempts to present Christian doctrines like the Trinity in a way that might be acceptable to Jews and Moslems.


  • Causa Causarum: German translation by C. Kayser (1893).


  1. Sebastian Brock, A brief outline of Syriac literature, Moran Etho 9, (1997), p. 71 and p. 139.