Original Research - Special Collection: Romania

Modern theological research: The authorship of the Byzantine anaphora of Saint Basil under investigation with the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae database

Ciprian I. Streza
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 4 | a6684 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.6684 | © 2021 Ciprian I. Streza | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 April 2021 | Published: 11 August 2021

About the author(s)

Ciprian I. Streza, Department of Orthodox Theology, Faculty of Theology, Lucian Blaga University, Sibiu, Romania; Department of Systematic and Historical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Saint Basil the Great wrote one of the most important and widely acknowledged Eucharistic texts in the Eastern Orthodox Church, a liturgical anaphora that bears his name. Before the dawn of the second millennium, this was the main Eucharistic text used in Constantinople and in the territories under its authority. In the modern time of digital media, the liturgical research methods have been improved by using the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG) database. The emergence of patristic and liturgical texts in this novel format was able to revolutionise the field of Comparative Liturgics, allowing to very quickly find the possible internal clues, which prove the basilian authorship of the anaphora bearing St. Basil’s name. By the quick and accurate computer scanning of a part of the post-Sanctus prayer, a relatively complete picture of the relatedness of vocabulary, the author’s theological and ascetical nomenclature, the recurring thought patterns, parallel passages and hapax legomena, rare terms and their frequency, is obtained.

Contribution: The present article aims to demonstrate that Theology has to be connected to modern research methods because the findings of such an academic approach are helpful for the development of ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, that is so well promoted by HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies.


Eucharistic anaphora; Saint Basil the Great; Comparative Liturgy; Thesaurus Linguae Graecae; Cappadocia; Eastern Orthodox Theology; Patristic Age


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