A Relic In Spe: Theodoret’s Depiction of a Philosopher Saint

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


The following article is an interpretation of a narrative in Theodoret of Cyrrhus’ collective biography about the history of the monks of Syria, the Philotheos historia. The most well-known saint of Theodoret’s own diocese was James of Cyrrhestica. His biography has a central place in the PH, but has not received as much attention as that of his name- sake James of Nisibis, or Symeon the Stylite. It is my intention to analyse this vita, and address specifically how the dual images of the ascetic as both a philosopher and a martyr are combined. Moreover, I hope to display how focus is shifted from the living saint to the dead saint. As the text was written, the saint was (supposedly) still very much alive, and deeply involved in the matters of the church. Still, I suggest that he is made a relic in spe, and thereby brought close to the cultic practices of the church in the city.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Religious Studies
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudia Patristica LXVIII: Papers presented at the Sixteenth International Conference on Patristic Studies held 
in Oxford 2011
EditorsMarkus Vinzent
PublisherPeeters Publishers
VolumeVol. 16: From the Fifth Century Onwards (Greek Writers)
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

VolumeVol. 16: From the Fifth Century Onwards (Greek Writers)

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (015017000)