The Christological controversies that riveted the eastern Roman Empire and its surrounding regions in the fifth and sixth centuries are a source of many questions for scholars of Late Antiquity. Late antique Christological discourse was philosophically sophisticated and grammatically precise, seemingly a matter of interest only for educated elites like bishops and theologians, yet divisions over Christology had far-reaching consequences for local and imperial politics, social order, and ecclesial cohesion. The fundamental question, therefore, would seem to be “How did such complex topics become a concern to all levels of society?” (3).

In Preaching Christology in the Roman Near East, Philip Michael Forness takes up this question, arguing that homilies were important vehicles in the dissemination of Christological ideas to wider audiences. As a case study, Forness considers the hundreds of homilies by the Syriac poet and cleric Jacob of Serugh (ca. 451–521), an anti-Chalcedonian miaphysite (the group often...

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