Religious and Philosophical Conversion in the Ancient Mediterranean Traditions


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The interest in interdisciplinary research on the experience of religious conversion or spiritual transformation grows progressively. In light of this burgeoning area of study, this volume explores conversion or converting experience in the ancient Mediterranean with attention to early Judaism, early Christianity, and philosophy in the Roman empire. The contributions include both historical and philological reconstructions relying on source material and utilizing interdisciplinary approaches. Similarly, the authors analyze the literary use of the motif of conversion, the topic of philosophical conversion as well as ritual, social and embodied aspects of spiritual transformation.

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Athanasios Despotis, 2006 Ph.D. at the University of Athens; 2012 Habilitation at the Univesity of Bonn is apl. Professor at the University of Bonn. He has published monographs and many articles on New Testament and Patristic Exegesis, including Bekehrungserfahrung und Bekehrungserinnerung bei Paulus und Johannes (Brill-Schöningh, 2021)

Hermut Löhr, Dr. theol. (1994), Habilitation New Testament (2001), University of Bonn, is presently professor (chair) for New Testament and Judaism in Antiquity at the University of Bonn. He has published monographs and articles on the Epistle to the Hebrews, early Christian and Jewish Prayer (Studien zum frühchristlichen und frühjüdischen Gebet. Eine Untersuchung von 1 Clem 59 bis 61, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2003), the Decalogue, early Christian moral thought, Pauline theology et al.
List of Tables and Figures

Athanasios Despotis

Part 1: Interdisciplinary Conversion Research

Contemporary Models of Conversion and Identity Transformation
Pierre-Yves Brandt

Using Behavioural Sciences to Understand Early Christian Experiences of Conversion
Rikard Roitto

Part 2: Conversion in Ancient Judaism

The Lost Daughter: A Philological Study on the Scroll of Ruth
Karl-Heinrich Ostmeyer

Conversion within Israel?: An Essay on Old and New in Second Temple Judaism, and on Paul the Convert According to Phil 3:2–4:1
Hermut Löhr

Strategies of Conversion in a Jewish-Orphic Hieros Logos: A Cognitive Approach
Anna Furlan

“Making tešuḇā” (לעשות תשובה): “(Re-)turning” in Tannaitic Literature
Francesco Zanella

Part 3: Conversion in Philosophical Traditions

The Awake and Sober Way of Life: A Key Motif in the Stoic Conversion
Sharon Padilla

Philosophical Conversion in Plutarch’s Moralia and the Cultural Discourses in the Ancient Mediterranean
Athanasios Despotis

Conversion to Philosophy in Diogenes Laertius: Forms and Functions
Sergi Grau

Part 4: Conversion in the New Testament

Is There Conversion in the Synoptic Gospels?
Phillip A. Davis Jr.

Metanoia in the Sermon on the Mount – A Philosophical Approach
Raul Heimann

Religious and Philosophical Conversion in Paul and John
Athanasios Despotis

‘Consider Yourselves Dead’ (Rom 6:11): Biographical Reconstruction, Conversion, and the Death of the Self in Romans
Stephen Chester

What Was the Relationship between Almsgiving and Conversion for the New Testament Authors?
Matthew N. Williams

Part 5: Conversion in Mystery Cults and Late Antiquity

Back to a Classic Debate: Conversion and Salvation in Ancient Mystery Cults?
Miguel Herrero de Jáuregui

The Sychar Story as a Standard Conversion Narrative in Heracleon’s Hypomnēmata
Carl Johan Berglund

Scholars and teachers of biblical studies, classics, ancient philosophy and hermeneutics. Academic libraries, especially those connected with schools of theology/divinity and classics.
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