Religious Identities in Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages

Walking Together & Parting Ways


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Religious Identities in Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages contains eight thought-provoking articles that discuss the formation of antique and early medieval religious identities and ideas in rabbinic Judaism, early Christianity, Islam, and Greco-Roman culture. The articles question the artificial disciplinary and conceptual boundaries between traditions. Instead, they stress their shared nature. The collection is a result of discussions at the international symposium “Ideas and Identities in Late Antiquity: Jews, Christians, and Muslims” at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies on March 12–13, 2018.

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Ilkka Lindstedt, Ph.D. (2013), University of Helsinki, is a University Lecturer in Islamic Theology. He has published widely on early Islamic history and classical Arabic literature, including a chapter on the medieval Islamic world in The Cambridge History of Atheism.

Nina Nikki, Th.D. (2015), University of Helsinki, is a postdoctoral researcher in Biblical Studies. She is the author of Opponents and Identity in Philippians (Brill, 2019) and co-editor of Magic in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2021).

Riikka Tuori, Ph.D. (2013), University of Helsinki, is a University Lecturer in Jewish studies. Tuori has published articles on Hebrew literature and Karaite Judaism, including ‘Renewal and tradition in devout Hebrew poetry’ (Zutot, 2019).

Contributors are Antti Lampinen, Elina Lapinoja-Pitkänen, Ilkka Lindstedt, Joonas Maristo, Janne Mattila, Nina Nikki, Anna-Liisa Rafael, Antti Vanhoja, Jarkko Vikman, Holger Zellentin.
Notes on Contributors

1 Introduction
Ilkka Lindstedt, Nina Nikki, and Riikka Tuori

2 A Merchant-Geographer’s Identity? Networks, Knowledge and Religious Affinity in the Expositio Totius Mundi et Gentium
Antti Lampinen

3 Reconstructing the Identity of the Bacchic Group in Athens: οἱ Ἰόβακχοι and IG II² 1368
Elina Lapinoja-Pitkänen

4 Signs of Identity in the Quran: Rituals, Practices, and Core Values
Ilkka Lindstedt

5 Sabians, the School of al-Kindī, and the Brethren of Purity
Janne Mattila

6 Righteous Sufferer, Scheming Apostate: Traditions of Paul from a Cultural Evolutionary Perspective
Nina Nikki and Antti Vanhoja

7 Death in the “Contact Zone”: An Analysis of Ibn Ḥanbal’s Hadith about a Hairdresser-Mother and Her Sons (Ḥadīṯ al-Māšiṭa)
Anna-Liisa Rafael and Joonas Maristo

8 Little Big Gods: Morality of the Supernatural in Lydian and Phrygian Confession Inscriptions
Jarkko Vikman

9 “One Letter yud Shall not Pass Away from the Law”: Matthew 5:17 to Bavli Shabbat 116a–b
Holger Zellentin

Specialists and post-graduate students interested in antiquity, early Christianity, early Islam, rabbinic Judaism, Greco-Roman literature, and the historical development of religious identities; academic libraries.
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