The Christology of St. Isaac of Niniveh and the East Syriac Theology of the 7-8th centuries

  • Benedict (Valentin) Vesa Babes-Bolyai University, Romania


Isaac of Niniveh is one of the most prominent East Syriac author, whose dates go to a complex historical and religious time (7-8thcenturies) – the Arab conquest and the West Syriac proselytism, and yet a period of flourishing theological literature. His discourses have a practical perspective and they may be easily lectured as a gnoseological-mystical itinerary, communicated in a technical language, in a line of a specific tradition(s). Theologically speaking, the possibility of achieving divine knowledge can be expressed only within the Christological frame, as Christ is the perfect Man and perfect God, and any human knowledge resides in Him. In consequence, it is dependent on the way one expresses the relation between Christ’s two natures (communicatio idiomatum). Isaac of Niniveh does not systematically deal with Christology, but one may identify in his discourses an attitude, a phraseology, and a mystic theology, in consequence, described as divine knowledge, perception and vision. In this paper we will deal with Isaac’s Christological perspective in the frame of the Christological disputes of his time, and, in consequence, we will search for identifying the type of mystics he professes.

Keywords: Christology, incarnation, dwelling, dyophysitism, deification.

Author Biography

Benedict (Valentin) Vesa, Babes-Bolyai University, Romania

Very Rev., Lecturer, Faculty of Orthodox Theology

How to Cite
VESA, Benedict (Valentin). The Christology of St. Isaac of Niniveh and the East Syriac Theology of the 7-8th centuries. Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai Theologia Orthodoxa, [S.l.], v. 64, n. 1, p. 39-52, june 2019. ISSN 2065-9474. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 09 july 2020. doi:
Systematic Theology