Saturday, February 10, 2018

“Liturgy and Byzantinization in Jerusalem” - Book Presentation by Dr Daniel Galadza

Last month, the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies in Toronto, Ontario, welcomed Dr Daniel Galadza for a presentation of his book “Liturgy and Byzantinization in Jerusalem”, recently published by Oxford Univ. Press in the Oxford Early Christian Studies series. Dr Galadza is Canadian-American himself; after obtaining his doctorate at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, he is currently teaching and researching at the University of Vienna, Austria. His book examines how the original liturgy of Jerusalem, often referred to as the Hagiopolitan Rite, was gradually replaced by that of Constantinople, while leaving numerous traces of itself in the Byzantine Rite, particularly over the course of the 7th-12th centuries; the process of Byzantinization in this important period has not been examined in detail hitherto.

The presentation is aimed at a general audience, so despite its specialized subject matter, it is given in such a way that no one should find it difficult to follow. Of particular interest is Dr Galadza’s account of the fairly recent discovery of a new cache of manuscripts in the library of the Monastery of St Catherine on Mt Sinai in Egypt; this discovery is very important for his topic, but also provided the first written of evidence of a language previously known to exist, but unattested in any written source. He also explains a bit about one of the more interesting phenomena in the history of ancient and medieval writing, the making of palimpsests. This term derives from two Greek words that mean “scrape (or) wipe again”; an older manuscript would be scraped as clean as possible of ink, and the parchment recycles by writing a new text over it. In many cases, modern technology has made it possible to recover traces of the original writing, and some very important discoveries have come out of this process.

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