Davydenkov Oleg, archpriest

The Sources of Some of the Anthropological and Cosmological Ideas of Sulayman of Gaza

Davydenkov Oleg (2016) "The Sources of Some of the Anthropological and Cosmological Ideas of Sulayman of Gaza ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia. Religiovedenie, 2016, vol. 65, pp. 42-51 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturI201665.42-51


The article provides a brief overview ofSulayman, bishop of Gaza, an Arab-Christian Orthodox author of 10-11th centuries, and his theological and philosophical writings. Exploring the question of the sources of Sulayman’s ideas associated with the doctrine of man as a microcosm and his representation of the cross as a principle that underlies the created world and human nature, the author comes to the conclusion that most of these ideas are contained in the Greek patristic literature (the Great Cappadocians, St John of Damascus) with which Sulayman as a person sufficiently educated and having command of the Greek language was likely familiar. Thus, contrary to the opinion of some modern scholars who believe that these anthropological and cosmological ideas were borrowed by the bishop of Gaza from contemporary Muslim (Ismaili) esoteric literature, the author concludes that the presence of these ideas in the writings of Sulayman of Gaza suggests a good acquaintance with the Greek patristic tradition rather than his openness to borrowing from non-Christian sources.


Sulayman of Gaza, Arab-Christian literature, microcosm, cross, patristic literature, anthropology, cosmology.


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Information about the author

Davydenkov Oleg, archpriest

Academic Degree: Doctor of Theology;
Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in Philosophy;
Academic Rank: Professor;
Place of work: St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University for the Humanities 6/1 Likhov pereulok, Moscow 127051, Russian Federation;
Email: odavydenkov@yandex.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.