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Encyclopedia > John of Damascus
Saint John of Damascus

John Damascene, Chrysorrhoas
Doctor of the Church
Born c. 676, Damascus
Died December 5, 749, Mar Saba, Jerusalem
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Lutheran Church, Eastern Catholic Churches
Feast December 4 (L)
Saints Portal

Saint John of Damascus (Arabic: يحيى ابن منصور Yaḥyā ibn Manṣūr; Greek: Ιωάννης Δαμασκήνος/Ioannês Damaskinos; Latin: Iohannes Damascenus or Johannes Damascenus also known as John Damascene, Χρυσορρόας/Chrysorrhoas, "streaming with gold"—i.e., "the golden speaker") (c. 676December 5, 749) was a Syrian monk and presbyter. He was born and raised in Damascus and died (in all probability) at the monastery of Mar Saba, southeast of Jerusalem. He was a polymath whose fields of interest and contribution included Law, Theology, Philosophy and Music. He was the Chief Administrator to the ruler of Damascus, wrote works expounding the Christian faith, and wrote hymns which are still in everyday use in Eastern Christian Monasteries throughout the world. John of Damascus File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... In Roman Catholicism, a Doctor of the Church (Latin doctor, teacher, from Latin docere, to teach) is a saint from whose writings the whole Christian Church is held to have derived great advantage and to whom eminent learning and great sanctity have been attributed by a proclamation of a pope... Events November 2 - Donus becomes Pope. ... For other uses, see Damascus (disambiguation). ... is the 339th day of the year (340th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events June - Aistulf succeeds his brother Ratchis as king of the Lombards End of the reign of Emperor Shomu of Japan Empress Koken ascends to the throne of Japan Abu al-Abbas as-Saffah becomes caliph Births Deaths Saint John of Damascus (or Damascene), theologian Ratchis, king of the Lombards... Mar Saba seen from the view point Mar Saba seen from the bottom of the gorge Mar Saba in the 19th century Mar Saba is a Greek Orthodox monastery located near Bethlehem, Israel (Palestine), and overlooks the Kidron River. ... For other uses, see Jerusalem (disambiguation). ... Catholic Church redirects here. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Relation to other religions Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      The... The Lutheran movement is a group of denominations of Protestant Christianity by the original definition. ... The Eastern Catholic Churches are autonomous particular Churches in full communion with the Pope of Rome. ... The calendar of saints is a traditional Christian method of organising a liturgical year on the level of days by associating each day with one or more saints, and referring to the day as that saints day. ... is the 338th day of the year (339th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Image File history File links Gloriole. ... Arabic can mean: From or related to Arabia From or related to the Arabs The Arabic language; see also Arabic grammar The Arabic alphabet, used for expressing the languages of Arabic, Persian, Malay ( Jawi), Kurdish, Panjabi, Pashto, Sindhi and Urdu, among others. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... Events November 2 - Donus becomes Pope. ... is the 339th day of the year (340th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events June - Aistulf succeeds his brother Ratchis as king of the Lombards End of the reign of Emperor Shomu of Japan Empress Koken ascends to the throne of Japan Abu al-Abbas as-Saffah becomes caliph Births Deaths Saint John of Damascus (or Damascene), theologian Ratchis, king of the Lombards... For other uses, see Monk (disambiguation). ... Presbyter in the New Testament refers to a leader in local Christian congregations, a synonym of episkopos, which has come to mean bishop. ... For other uses, see Damascus (disambiguation). ... Mar Saba seen from the view point Mar Saba seen from the bottom of the gorge Mar Saba in the 19th century Mar Saba is a Greek Orthodox monastery located near Bethlehem, Israel (Palestine), and overlooks the Kidron River. ... For other uses, see Jerusalem (disambiguation). ... Leonardo da Vinci, a polymath, is seen as the epitome of the related term, Renaissance Man A polymath (Greek polymathÄ“s, πολυμαθής, having learned much)[1][2] is a person with encyclopedic, broad, or varied knowledge or learning. ... For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ... Theology finds its scholars pursuing the understanding of and providing reasoned discourse of religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... For other uses, see Philosophy (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Music (disambiguation). ... Eastern Christianity refers collectively to the Christian traditions and churches which developed in Greece, Russia, Armenia, the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, northeastern Africa and southern India over several centuries of religious antiquity. ...

Contents

Biography

Practically all the information concerning the life of John of Damascus available to us today, has been through the records of John, Patriarch of Jerusalem. Though these notes have served as the single source of biographical information, dating back to the 10th century, these writings have been noted by scholars as having an exuberant lack of detail from a historical point of view, and a bloated writing style. The hagiographic novel Barlaam and Josaphat was traditionally attributed to John, but is in fact a work of the tenth century.[1] This article is about the Patriarch of Jerusalem according to the Greek Orthodox tradition. ... Saint Josaphat is said to have lived and died in the 3rd century or 4th century in India. ...


Childhood

John was brought up in Damascus in an Arab Christian[2] family living under Muslim rule. His father held a high hereditary public office with duties of chief financial officer for the caliph Abd al-Malik, apparently as head of the tax department for Syria. For other uses, see Damascus (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Arab (disambiguation). ... Arab Christians are people who are ethnically Arab or culturally and linguistically Arabized and who follow the religion of Christianity. ... There is also a collection of Hadith called Sahih Muslim A Muslim (Arabic: مسلم, Persian: Mosalman or Mosalmon Urdu: مسلمان, Turkish: Müslüman, Albanian: Mysliman, Bosnian: Musliman) is an adherent of the religion of Islam. ... For main article see: Caliphate The Caliph (pronounced khaleef in Arabic) is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the leader of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Sharia. ... Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (646-705) (Arabic: عبد المالك بن مروان ) was an Umayyad caliph. ...


When John reached the age of twenty-three, his father sought out to find a Christian tutor who could provide the best education for his children available at the time. Records show that while spending some time in the market place John's father came across several captives, imprisoned as a result of a raid for prisoners of war that had taken place in the coasts of Italy. One of these, a Sicilian monk by the name of Cosmas, turned out to be an erudite of great knowledge and wisdom. John's father arranged for the release of this man and appointed him tutor to his son. Under the instruction of Cosmas, John made great advances in fields of study such as music, astronomy and theology. According to his biographer, he soon equaled Diophantus in algebra and Euclid in geometry. For other uses, see Christian (disambiguation). ... In British, Australian, New Zealand, and some Canadian universities, a tutor is often but not always a postgraduate student or a lecturer assigned to conduct a seminar for undergraduate students, often known as a tutorial. ... Sicily ( in Italian and Sicilian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,708 km² (9,926 sq. ... For other uses, see Astronomy (disambiguation). ... Title page of the 1621 edition of Diophantus Arithmetica, translated into Latin by Claude Gaspard Bachet de Méziriac. ... This article is about the branch of mathematics. ... For other uses, see Euclid (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Geometry (disambiguation). ...


Succession to Chief Councilor

In spite of his Christian background, his family held an important hereditary public office in the court of the Muslim rulers of Damascus, the Umayyads. John of Damascus succeeded his father in his position upon his death: he was appointed protosymbullus, or Chief Councilor of Damascus. Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... There is also a collection of Hadith called Sahih Muslim A Muslim (Arabic: مسلم, Persian: Mosalman or Mosalmon Urdu: مسلمان, Turkish: Müslüman, Albanian: Mysliman, Bosnian: Musliman) is an adherent of the religion of Islam. ... For other uses, see Damascus (disambiguation). ... The Courtyard of the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, one of the grandest architectural legacies of the Umayyads. ... For other uses, see Damascus (disambiguation). ...


It was during his term in office that iconoclasm, a movement seeking to prohibit the veneration of the icons, first appeared and gained acceptance in the Byzantine court. In 726, in disregard of the protests of Germanus, Patriarch of Constantinople, Emperor Leo III issued his first edict against the veneration of images, and their exhibition in public places. A talented writer in the secure surroundings of the caliph's court, John of Damascus initiated his defense against the emperor in three "Apologetic Treatises against those Decrying the Holy Images", the earliest of his works, and which gained him a reputation. Not only did he attack the emperor, but the use of a simpler literary style brought the controversy to the common people, inciting revolt among those of Christian faith. His writings later played an important role during the Second Council of Nicaea which met to settle the icon dispute. A simple cross: example of iconoclast art in the Hagia Irene Church in Istanbul Iconoclasm is the deliberate destruction within a culture of the cultures own religious icons and other symbols or monuments, usually for religious or political motives. ... The Byzantine Empire is the term conventionally used to describe the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages, centered at its capital in Constantinople. ... Events City of Jarash (in present-day Jordan) suffers a major earthquake First annual Sumo tournament held by Emperor Seibu. ... Germanus is the Latin term referring to the Germanic peoples. ... // [edit] Bishops of Byzantium (until 330) 1. ... Leo the Isaurian and his son Constantine V. Leo III the Isaurian or the Syrian (Greek: Λέων Γ΄, Leōn III ), (c. ... Veneration is a religious symbolic act giving honor to someone by honoring an image of that person, particularly applied to saints. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... The Second Council of Nicaea was the seventh ecumenical council of Christianity; it met in 787 AD in Nicaea (site of the First Council of Nicaea) to restore the honoring of icons (or, holy images), which had been suppressed by imperial edict inside the Byzantine Empire during the reign of...


Unable to punish the writer openly, Leo III managed to acquire a manuscript written and signed by John of Damascus, which he used to forge a letter from John to the Isaurian emperor offering to betray into his hands the city of Damascus. Despite John's earnest advocation to his innocence, the caliph dismissed his plea, discharged him from his post, and ordering his right hand, which he used for writing, to be cut off by the wrist. For other uses, see Damascus (disambiguation). ... For main article see: Caliphate The Caliph (pronounced khaleef in Arabic) is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the leader of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Sharia. ...


According to the 10th-century biography, his hand was miraculously restored after fervent prayer before an icon of the Virgin Mary. At this point the caliph is said to have been convinced of his innocence and inclined to reinstate him in his former office. However, John then retired to the monastery of Saint Sabas near Jerusalem, where he continued to produce a series of commentaries, hymns and apologetic writings, including the "Octoechos" (the Church's service book of eight tones) and An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, a summary of the dogmatic writings of the Early Church Fathers. Gabriel delivering the Annunciation to Mary. ... For main article see: Caliphate The Caliph (pronounced khaleef in Arabic) is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the leader of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Sharia. ... Monasticism (from Greek: monachos — a solitary person) is the religious practice in which one renounces worldly pursuits in order to fully devote ones life to spiritual work. ... Mar Saba seen from the view point Mar Saba seen from the bottom of the gorge Mar Saba in the 19th century Mar Saba is a Greek Orthodox monastery located near Bethlehem, Israel (Palestine), and overlooks the Kidron River. ... For other uses, see Jerusalem (disambiguation). ...


Last Days

He died in 749 as a revered Father of the Church, and is now widely recognized as a saint. He is sometimes called the last of the Church Fathers by the Roman Catholic Church. In 1883 he was declared a Doctor of the Church by the Holy See. Events June - Aistulf succeeds his brother Ratchis as king of the Lombards End of the reign of Emperor Shomu of Japan Empress Koken ascends to the throne of Japan Abu al-Abbas as-Saffah becomes caliph Births Deaths Saint John of Damascus (or Damascene), theologian Ratchis, king of the Lombards... For other uses, see Saint (disambiguation). ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers... Catholic Church redirects here. ... Year 1883 (MDCCCLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... In Roman Catholicism, a Doctor of the Church (Latin doctor, teacher, from Latin docere, to teach) is a saint from whose writings the whole Christian Church is held to have derived great advantage and to whom eminent learning and great sanctity have been attributed by a proclamation of a pope...


List of Works

John of Damascus Greek icon
John of Damascus Greek icon

Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...

Early Works

  • Three "Apologetic Treatises against those Decrying the Holy Images" – These treatises were among his earliest expositions in response to the edict by the Byzantine Emperor Leo III, banning the worship or exhibition of holy images.

Leo the Isaurian and his son Constantine V. Leo III the Isaurian or the Syrian (Greek: Λέων Γ΄, Leōn III ), (c. ...

Teachings and Dogmatic Works

  • "Fountain of Knowledge" or "The Fountain of Wisdom", is divided into three parts:
    1. "Philosophical Chapters" (Kephalaia philosophika) – Commonly called 'Dialectic', deals mostly with logic, its primary purpose being to prepare the reader for a better understanding of the rest of the book.
    2. "Concerning Heresy" (peri aireseon) – The last chapter of this part (Chapter 101) deals with the Heresy of the Ishmaelites. Differently from the previous 'chapters' on other heresies which are usually only a few lines long, this chapter occupies a few pages in his work. It is one of the first Christian polemical writings against Islam, and the first one written by a Greek Orthodox/Melkite.
    3. "An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith" (Ekdosis akribes tes orthodoxou pisteos) – This third section of the book is known to be the most important work of John de Damascene, and a treasured antiquity of Christianity.
  • "Sacred Parallels"

For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is...

References

  1. ^ R. Volk, ed., Historiae animae utilis de Barlaam et Ioasaph (Berlin, 2006).
  2. ^ http://www.christianitytoday.com.au/history/special/131christians/johndamascus.html
  • "St. John Damascene on Holy Images, Followed by Three Sermons on the Assumption" – Eng. transl. by Mary H. Allies, London, 1899.

External Links


  Results from FactBites:
 
St John of Damascus - definition of St John of Damascus in Encyclopedia (1027 words)
John of Damascus (Latin: Iohannes Damascenus or Johannes Damascenus)(c.
He was born and raised in Damascus, in all probability at the monastery of Mar Saba, South East of Jerusalem.
Despite John's earnest advocation to his innocence, the caliph dismissed his plea and discharged him from his post, ordering his right hand, which he used for writing to be severed by the wrist.
Reference.com/Encyclopedia/John of Damascus (1027 words)
John of Damascus (Latin: Iohannes Damascenus or Johannes Damascenus also known as John Damascene, Chrysorrhoas, "streaming with gold"—i.e., "the golden speaker") (c.
He was born and raised in Damascus but died (in all probability) at the monastery of Mar Saba, southeast of Jerusalem.
John's father arranged for the release of this man and appointed him tutor to his son.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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