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Edited by John M. Dillon and Andrei Timotin

Platonic Theories of Prayer is a collection of ten essays on the topic of prayer in the later Platonic tradition. The volume originates from a panel on the topic held at the 2013 ISNS meeting in Cardiff, but is supplemented by a number of invited papers. Together they offer a comprehensive view of the various roles and levels of prayer characteristic of this period. The concept of prayer is shown to include not just formal petitionary or encomiastic prayer, but also theurgical practices and various states of meditation and ecstasy practised by such major figures as Plotinus, Porphyry, Iamblichus, Proclus, Damascius or Dionysius the Areopagite.

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Edited by Alexander C. Murray

Gregory, bishop of Tours (573-594), was among the most prolific writers of his age and uniquely managed to cover the genres of history, hagiography, and ecclesiastical instruction. He not only wrote about events (of the secular, spiritual, and even natural variety) but about himself as an actor and witness. Though his work (especially the Histories) has been recycled and studied for centuries, our grasp of an even basic understanding of it, never mind Gregory’s significance in the history of the late antique West, has hardly yet attained a definitive perspective.
A Companion to Gregory of Tours brings together fourteen scholars who provide an expert guide to interpreting his works, his period, and his legacy in religious and historical studies.

Contributors are: Pascale Bourgain, Roger Collins, John J. Contreni, Stefan Esders, Martin Heinzelmann, Yitzhak Hen, John K. Kitchen, Simon Loseby, Alexander Callander Murray, Patrick Périn, Joachim Pizarro, Helmut Reimitz, Michael Roberts, Richard Shaw.
The first online collection of Brill’s flagship series in Religion in Antiquity ( Religions in the Graeco-Roman World) presents monographs and collections of essays that make original contributions to the field. The series, formerly known as Études Préliminaires aux Religions Orientales dans l'Empire Romain (EPRO), is a forum for studies in the social and cultural function of religions in the Greek and the Roman world, dealing with the religions of city and region between ca. 400 bce and 700 ce, both on their own terms and in their interaction with early Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Special attention is given to the religious history of regions and cities which illustrate the practical workings of these processes.

This e-series also includes Studies in Greek and Roman Religion (1980-1990), a series of 7 volumes on international studies in Hellenic and Roman theology.

This collection contains 190 titles published up to and including all titles published in 2015.

The Books of Jeu and the Pistis Sophia as Handbooks to Eternity

Exploring the Gnostic Mysteries of the Ineffable

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Erin Evans

Despite the surge of interest in Gnostic texts following the discovery of the Nag Hammadi library, the Coptic Books of Jeu and Pistis Sophia remain understudied. Often dismissed as convoluted, confused, and repetitious, Erin Evans convincingly shows that these texts represent the writings of a distinct religious group with a consistent system of theology, cosmology, and ritual practice. This book offers an in-depth examination of these texts, their relationship to other contemporary Gnostic ideas, and their use in the context of a practicing religious group. Three thematic sections demonstrate how the collection of texts functions as a whole, covering baptisms and mystical ascent procedures, guides to moral living, and introductory texts and myths.

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Edited by Aude Busine

In Religious Practices and Christianization of the Late Antique City, historians, archaeologists and historians of religion provide studies of the phenomenon of the Christianization of the Roman Empire within the context of the transformations and eventual decline of the Greco-Roman city. The eleven papers brought together here aim to describe the possible links between religious, but also political, economic and social mutations engendered by Christianity and the evolution of the antique city. Combining a multiplicity of sources and analytical approaches, this book seeks to measure the impact on the city of the progressive abandonment of traditional cults to the advantage of new Christian religious practices.

Community Building in the Shepherd of Hermas

A Critical Study of Some Key Aspects

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Mark Grundeken

In Community Building in the Shepherd of Hermas , Mark Grundeken investigates key aspects of Christian community life as reflected upon in the early Christian writing the Shepherd of Hermas (2nd century C.E.). Grundeken’s thematic study deals with various topics: the community’s identity, including its (alleged) ‘Jewish Christianness’, (lack of) resurrection belief, sectarian tendencies and its relation to the authorities and to the emperor cult; social features, encompassing gender roles and charity; and rituals such as baptism, metanoia, Eucharistic meals, the Sunday collection, dancing (and singing), the ‘holy kiss’ and reading of Scripture. The many fruitful entries prove Hermas to be one of the main texts for studying the development of community building in the early church.

Orality and Textuality in the Iranian World

Patterns of Interaction Across the Centuries

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Edited by Julia Rubanovich

The volume demonstrates the cultural centrality of the oral tradition for Iranian studies. It contains contributions from scholars from various areas of Iranian and comparative studies, among which are the pre-Islamic Zoroastrian tradition with its wide network of influences in late antique Mesopotamia, notably among the Jewish milieu; classical Persian literature in its manifold genres; medieval Persian history; oral history; folklore and more. The essays in this collection embrace both the pre-Islamic and Islamic periods, both verbal and visual media, as well as various language communities (Middle Persian, Persian, Tajik, Dari) and geographical spaces (Greater Iran in pre-Islamic and Islamic medieval periods; Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan of modern times). Taken as a whole, the essays reveal the unique blending of oral and literate poetics in the texts or visual artefacts each author focuses upon, conceptualizing their interrelationship and function.

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Ellen Scully

In Physicalist Soteriology in Hilary of Poitiers, Ellen Scully presents Hilary as a representative of the “mystical” or “physical” trajectory of patristic soteriology most often associated with the Greek fathers. Scully shows that Hilary’s physicalism is unique, both in its Latin non-Platonic provenance and its conceptual foundation, namely that the incarnation has salvific effects for all humanity because Christ’s body contains every human individual.

Hilary’s soteriological conviction that all humans are present in Christ’s body has theological ramifications that expand beyond soteriology to include christology, eschatology, ecclesiology, and Trinitarian theology. In detailing these ramifications, Scully illumines the pervasive centrality of physicalism in Hilary’s theology while correcting standard soteriological presentations of physicalism as an exclusively Greek phenomenon.

Mani in Dublin

Selected Papers from the Seventh International Conference of the International Association of Manichaean Studies in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, 8–12 September 2009

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Edited by Siegfried G. Richter, Charles Horton and Klaus Ohlhafer

In 2009 the Seventh International Conference of Manichaean Studies was held at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin. The 22 selected papers of this volume offer a deep insight into the faith of Manichaean communities ranging from the very beginning of the 3rd century up to the last traces of worship today. Among others the authors deal with sources from Augustin, John the Grammarian, Ephrem the Syrian and further sources written in Coptic, Sogdian, Middle Persian, Parthian and Chinese. Several studies about Manichaean art and iconography offer a visual impression, which gives a new opportunity for understanding the religion of Light.

Dionysos in Classical Athens

An Understanding through Images

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Cornelia Isler-Kerényi

Dionysos, with his following of satyrs and women, was a major theme in a big part of the figure painted pottery in 500-300 B.C. Athens. As an original testimonial of their time, the imagery on these vases convey what this god meant to his worshippers. It becomes clear that - contrary to what is usually assumed - he was not only appropriate for wine, wine indulgence, ecstasy and theatre. Rather, he was present in both the public and private sphere on many, both happy and sad, occasions. In addition, the vase painters have emphasized different aspects of Dionysos for their customers inside and outside of Athens, depending on the political and cultural situation.