Amina Shah, who comes from “an ancient Afghan family of writers and savants.” The Arabian stories feel, somehow, more familiar and less austere than the Albanian tales. Perhaps living in Britain has taught the author what an English-speaking audience expects. Or perhaps The Thousand and One Nights has become so much a part of the English canon that tales from that culture no longer seem particularly exotic.
At St. Vlad’s, returning students can check out books for the whole summer. After I learned about this privilege, every time I found a book I thought I might want to read over the summer, I filled out a check-out slip for the book. On the second-to-last day of the semester, I took my pile of slips to the stacks, located all my books, and checked them out.
J.B. Segal, a thorough, detailed history of this city, which was central to Syrian Christianity. Here was where Greek, Semitic, Persian, and Armenian cultures met and mixed. Originally home to Antiochene theologians who followed Theodore of Mopsuestia, Edessa’s theological school later switched sides and adopted the theology of Cyril of Alexandria. The city was also home to King Abgar and the famed Edessa icon, known as the mandylion.
Ewa Kuryluk, an examination of the veronica, the mandylion, and other “true images” of Christ from a postmodern feminist perspective.
Tangentially related to these is Image and Liturgy: The History and Meaning of the Epitaphion, the 2008 M.Div. thesis of St. Vlad’s staff member Tatiana Penkrat. The epitaphion is an embroidered icon of the burial of Christ that is used in Byzantine services of Holy Friday and Saturday, particularly the Lamentation service. I am eager to read this work for multiple reasons:
- The Lamentation service has always been my favorite Byzantine service.
- Many recensions of the epitaphion display the Troparion of St. Joseph of Arimathea in the border and place St. Joseph himself at the feet of Christ, making this my patronal icon.
- Penkrat considers the possibility that the epitaphion is a recension of the True Shroud of Jesus, which some equate to the mandylion translated from Edessa to Constantinople in 944.