Polarity: The theology of anti-Judaism in Ephrem the Syrian’s hymns on Easter

  • P.J. Botha


In this paper, the polarity Jews :: Christians in the hymns on Easter of the fourth-century Syrian theologian Ephrem is investigated. This polarity is found to be polemical against the Jews. But since polarity is a constant feature in the work of Ephrem which serves to communicate his theological frame of mind, the question is asked whether anti-Judaism does not also serve to convey theological ideas. An attempt is made to demonstrate that anti-Judaism indeed had a theological function for Ephrem: Anti-Judaism seems to have been an aspect of Christian self-definition. It was also a way of expressing the concepts of theological balance and reciprocity.

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eISSN: 2072-8050
print ISSN: 0259-9422