Stephen bar Sudaili, the Syrian mystic, and the book of Hierotheos

Frothingham F. Stephen bar Sudaili, the Syrian mystic, and the book of Hierotheos. -1886

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OCR
58 Bar Sudaili was obliged to leave Edessa and betake himself
to Palestine, where the greater freedom of thought allowed
was abundantly used by the Origenistic monks, who were
growing numerous and bold. At or near Jerusalem he entered
a monastery, as we see from the letter of Philoxenos: that
he was ever an abbot seems to be a gratuitous assumption
on the part of Neander, Gfrorer, and those who have copied
the assertion from them. We have no record of his being
expelled from this monastery, as some were, in consequence
of his scandalously pantheistic views, hut there can be no
doubt that they became well-known, not only from his writ¬
ings, but also from the words he wrote on the wall of his
cell, „AU nature is consubstantial with the Divinity". About
the same time we hear of the expulsion, for Origenistic views,
of four monks from the new Laura of S. Saba, with the
consent of the archbishop Elias *), to whom also Philoxenos,
in his letter, speaks of appealing: it would not therefore have
been surprising if Bar Sudaili had been treated in the same
manner. The period of his residence in Jerusalem is the only
part of his career which may be dated with approximate
certainty, between the years 494 and 512, from the con¬
cordance of dates between Jacob of Sarug (b. 454, d. 522),
Philoxenos (485—518), and Elias of Jerusalem (494—513).
As Philoxenos refers to the impossibility of his communica¬
ting with the Patriarch of Jerusalem on account of their divis¬
ion in faith, we are inclined to narrow the period at which
his letter was written to between 509 and 512, when the
contest between the two parlies was at its height. Another
chronological indication might be found in the k&iouso*cd , 11) Cyrillus Scythopolita, Vita S. Sabae.