Rituals in Early Christianity

New Perspectives on Tradition and Transformation


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Based on the paradigmatic shift in both liturgical and ritual studies, this multidisciplinary volume presents a collection of case studies on rituals in the early Christian world. After a methodological discussion of the new paradigm, it shows how emblematic Christian rituals were influenced by their Greco-Roman and Jewish contexts, undergoing multiple transformations, while themselves affecting developments both within and outside Christianity. Notably, parallel traditions in Judaism and Islam are included in the discussion, highlighting the importance of ongoing reception history. Focusing on the dynamic character of rituals, the new perspectives on ritual traditions pursued here relate to the expanding source material, both textual and material, as well as the development of recent interdisciplinary approaches, including the cognitive science of religion.

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Nienke M. Vos, Ph.D. (Utrecht, 2003), is tenured Assistant Professor of Patristics and the Literature of Early Christianity, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She has published on hagiography and was editor, with Willemien Otten, of Demons and the Devil in Ancient and Medieval Christianity (Brill, 2011). Albert C. Geljon, Ph.D. (Leiden, 2000), teaches classical languages at the Christelijk Gymnasium Utrecht. His research focuses on Philo of Alexandria and his influence on patristic authors. With David Runia he recently published Philo of Alexandria. On Planting. Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (Brill, 2019).
Scholars in the fields of early Christian studies/patristics, theology/religion (religious studies), ritual studies, liturgical studies, classics, archaeology, epigraphy, New Testament studies, late antiquity, (ancient) history, philology, papyrology, and cognitive science.
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