Prepublication chapter from Paradise and Paradigm: Key Symbols in Persian Christianity and the Baha’i Faith (Albany: SUNY Press, 1999). St. Eprem the Syrian is generally regarded as the greatest Christian poet of Late Antiquity.
SUNY Press flyer: click here. Paradise and Paradigm is the first formal (academic) comparative study of the Bahá'í Faith and Christianity (even though there is an abundance of popular, apologetic literature on the topic). The choice of "Persian Christianity" is important for historical and cultural reasons, as this is a comparison of two commensurables (two Persian religions) rather than "apples and oranges."