January 31—Kelly Holob, Rational Worship and Harmonization in the Hymns of Synesius of Cyrene

The Workshop on Late Antiquity and Byzantium is pleased to announce our next meeting:

Rational Worship and Harmonization
in the Hymns of Synesius of Cyrene

Eitharide muse in neo-attic style (2nd-1st c. BCE, Archaeological Museum, Istanbul)
Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.

Kelly Holob
Ph. D. Student, University of Chicago Divinity School

Synesius of Cyrene, a politician, philosopher, and bishop active at the end of the fourth century, is an important witness for late antique hymns, especially those written within the Platonic tradition. This paper puts Synesius into conversation with the Corpus Hermeticum, Proclus, and other ancient hymnists, arguing that doing so allows us to more clearly see the function of these hymns; namely, purifying the hymnist and helping him realize the proper activity of human beings, returning images (eikones) of God to God in the form of praise. These images are arrived at through scientific investigations of the world and the nous, and such investigations are a necessary component of these hymns. In other words, human nature is to study nature, resulting in the spontaneous collection and recitation of that knowledge to the One who created nature.

Tuesday, January 31 — 4:30 pm in CWAC 156

We look forward to seeing you there!

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