FEBRUARY 13, 2023

Dr. Marlène Kanaan Releases her New Book in Paris

Dr. Marlène Kanaan Releases her New Book in Paris

We are delighted to announce the new release in Paris (Beauchesne/ Cerf publishers) of the book of Prof. Marlène Kanaan in collaboration with Father Hareth Ibrahim entitled: Le Roman de Barlaam et Joasaph, Version Arabe Chrétienne which is the Christianize version of the story of Buddha based on 46 unpublished manuscripts.

The story of the two saints Barlaam and Joasaph derives from a Sanskrit Buddhist text, via a Manichaean version, then an Arabic-Muslim text, from where it entered Middle Eastern Christian circles before appearing in a first Christianized adaptation, the Georgian Balavariani dating back to the 9th Century. The Georgian text was translated into Greek and in some manuscripts was supposed to have been written by St. John of Damascus in the monastery of St. Saba, in Palestine. The Greek adaptation was translated into Latin, Arabic (Ḫabar Barlām wa Yūwāṣaf), Ethiopian, Hebrew, etc., and soon became well known all over the world as the Story of Barlaam and Joasaph. The story also contains a fragment of the lost Greek text of the Apology of Aristides, the 2nd C Athenian philosopher, and many parables and allegories.

The book of Pof. Kanaan, result of several years of research, makes accessible for the first time the critical edition of the Christian Arabic version of the romance and its French translation based on its unpublished manuscript witnesses, the oldest of which dates to the 12th - 13th Century. By retracing the itinerary of this version and by analyzing the various problems it poses (author, translators, copyists, codicological description of the manuscripts, biblical and patristical translations, etc.) the book underlines the particularities of this medieval bestseller of the Byzantine literature on the religious, linguistic, and cultural levels. ​