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Grant number: FT-254197-17

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Stephen James Shoemaker
University of Oregon (Eugene, OR 97403-5219)

A Translation of the First Christian Hymnal: The Songs of the Ancient Jerusalem Church

Preparation for publication of an annotated translation of the earliest known Christian hymnal, created in Jerusalem in the early 5th century.

I will produce the first English language translation of the earliest known Christian hymnal. This collection of ancient Christian hymns was compiled in Jerusalem during the later 4th or early 5th century. It offers an unmatched resource for understanding the development of early Christian worship and piety, as well as the transmission of Christian doctrine to the unlettered. Nevertheless, this invaluable collection has been almost completely ignored by scholars of early Christianity. Such neglect is almost certainly a consequence of the fact that this collection of theological poetry survives only in an Old Georgian translation, a language known by very few scholars of early Christianity. Compounding this problem is the inaccessibility and complexity of its critical edition. The resulting book will be of interest not only to scholars and students of early Christianity, but to members of the general public interested in sacred music as well.

Project fields:
History of Religion; Medieval Studies

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2017 – 8/31/2017