We Have No King But Christ: Christian Political Thought in Greater Syria on the Eve of the Arab Conquest (c.400-585)

We Have No King But Christ: Christian Political Thought in Greater Syria on the Eve of the Arab Conquest (c.400-585)

Hardback Oxford Studies in Byzantium

By (author) Philip Wood


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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 312 pages
  • Dimensions: 142mm x 218mm x 24mm | 540g
  • Publication date: 29 January 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 019958849X
  • ISBN 13: 9780199588497
  • Illustrations note: 8 in-text illustrations, 1 map
  • Sales rank: 1,332,819

Product description

Drawing on little-used sources in Syriac, once the lingua franca of the Middle East, Philip Wood examines how, at the close of the Roman Empire, Christianity carried with it new foundation myths for the peoples of the Near East that transformed their self-identity and their relationships with their rulers. This cultural independence was followed by a more radical political philosophy that dared to criticize the emperor and laid the seeds for the blending of religious and ethnic identity that we see in the Middle East today.

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Author information

Philip Wood is British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow, Corpus Christi College, Oxford.

Review quote

Philip Woods's book is a remarkable debut... a well-structured and convincingly argued work Bryn Mawr Classical Review Things are often more complicated than they may seem, and this is certainly also true for the phenomenon Wood has been studying in such a brilliant way. Joseph Verheyden, Journal of Eastern Christian Studies

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. Classification in a Christian Empire ; 2. Controlling the Barbarians: The First Syrian Hagiographic Collection ; 3. Theories of Nations and the World of Late Antiquity ; 4. Edessa and Beyond: The Reception of the Doctrina Addai in the Fifth and Sixth Centuries ; 5. The Julian Romance ; 6. Creating Boundaries in the Miaphysite Movement ; 7. A Miaphysite Commonwealth ; Conclusions