Academic Commons

Articles

The Concept of Philanthropy in the Early Syrian Fathers

Gather, Jill

Philanthropy implies love of humankind and the wish to improve the welfare of one’s neighbor, often through charitable deeds or donations. The philanthropic mission therefore also implies relatedness, because it depends on a setting in which the needs of fellow beings are discerned and met. The understanding that philanthropy and communal existence are intimately linked is at the heart of this article.
Given the close association of philanthropic work and interrelatedness, a discussion of the former notion within the context of Oriental Christianity may, at first sight, appear a rather hopeless enterprise, especially if considering the more extreme manifestations of early Syrian ascetical practices , which are reported in historical source. Passages from texts, such as Theodoret of Cyrrhus’ History of the Monks of Syria, Palladius’ Historia Lausiaca, or Sozomen’s Church History, conjure up the image of Syrain ascetics living in remote, isolated areas, untouched by civilization.

Geographic Areas

Subjects

Files

Also Published In

Title
Philanthropy and Social Compassion in Eastern Orthodox Tradition: Papers of the Sophia Institute Academic Conference, New York, Dec. 2009
Publisher
Theotokos Press

More About This Work

Academic Units
Sophia Institute
Series
Sophia Institute Studies in Orthodox Theology, 2
Published Here
September 13, 2011
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.