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The Sermon on the Mount and Spiritual Exercises

The Making of the Matthean Self

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George Branch-Trevathan

What, in Matthew’s view, should a human being become and how does one attain that ideal? In The Sermon on the Mount and Spiritual Exercises: The Making of the Matthean Self, George Branch-Trevathan presents a new account of Matthew’s ethics and argues that the evangelist presents the Sermon on the Mount as functioning like many other ancient sayings collections, that is, as facilitating transformative work on oneself, or “spiritual exercises,” that enable one to realize the evangelist’s ideals. The conclusion suggests some implications for our understanding of ethical formation in antiquity and the study of ethics more generally. This will be an essential volume for scholars studying the Gospel of Matthew, early Christian ethics, the relationships between early Christian and ancient philosophical writings, or ethical formation in antiquity.

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Christoph Sander

Why does a magnet attract iron? Why does a compass needle point north? Although the magnet or lodestone was known since antiquity, magnetism only became an important topic in natural science and technology in the early modern period. In Magnes Christoph Sander explores this fascinating subject and draws, for the first time, a comprehensive picture of early modern research on magnetism (c. 1500–1650). Covering all disciplines of this period, Magnes examines what scholars understood by ‘magnet’ and ‘magnetism,’ which properties they ascribed to it, in which instruments and practices magnetism was employed, and how they tried to explain this exciting phenomenon. This historical panorama is based on circa 1500 historical sources, including over 100 manuscripts.

Philo of Alexandria On Planting

Introduction, Translation, and Commentary

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David Runia and Albert Geljon

The Jewish exegete and philosopher Philo of Alexandria has long been famous for his complex and spiritually rich allegorical treatises on the Greek Bible. The present volume presents first translation and commentary in English on his treatise De plantatione (On planting), following on the volume devoted to On cultivation published previously by the same two authors. Philo gives a virtuoso performance as allegorist, interpreting Noah’s planting of a vineyard in Genesis 9.20 first in theological and cosmological terms, then moving to the spiritual quest of both of advanced souls and those beginning their journey. The translation renders Philo’s baroque Greek into readable modern English. The commentary pays particular attention to the treatise’s structure, its biblical basis and its exegetical and philosophical contents.

Quelques aspects du platonisme de Plutarque

Philosopher en commun, tourner sa pensée vers Dieu

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Françoise Frazier

Edited by Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta

Françoise Frazier’s Quelques aspects du platonisme de Plutarque: Philosopher en commun, Tourner sa pensée vers Dieu includes 20 essays on several philosophical tractates in Plutarch’s Moralia. Interesting both for Classists and Historians of Religion alike, the chapters provide an in-depth interpretation of several essential aspects of Plutarch’s philosophical dialogues that pays special heed both to the divine and the communication between God and humans. The book includes three sections. While the first is mainly concerned with Plutarch’s Amatorius, the second focuses on Plutarch’s relationship to Plato, especially in his myths of the afterlife. The third part, finally, deals with an important investigation that occupied Professor Frazier lately, namely the concept of pistis in the religious context of the first centuries CE.

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Edited by John F. Finamore, Christina-Panagiota Manolea and Sarah Klitenic Wear

Studies in Hermias’ Commentary on Plato’s Phaedrus is a collection of twelve essays that consider aspects of Hermias’ philosophy, including his notions of the soul, logic, and method of exegesis. The essays also consider Hermias’ work in the tradition of Neoplatonism, particularly in relation to the thought of Iamblichus and Proclus. The collection grapples with the question of the originality of Hermias’ commentary—the only extant work of Hermias—which is a series of lectures notes of his teacher, Syrianus.

Plato’s Timaeus and the Missing Fourth Guest

Finding the Harmony of the Spheres

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Donna M. Altimari Adler

In Plato's Timaeus and the Missing Fourth Guest, Donna M. Altimari Adler proposes a new Timaeus scale structure. She finds the harmonic cosmos, mathematically, at 35 A-36 D, regarding the text as a number generator. Plato's primary number sequence, she argues, yields a matrix defining a sophisticated harmony of the spheres. She stresses the Decad as the pattern governing both human perception and the generation of all things, in the Timaeus, including the World Soul and musical scale symbolizing it. She precisely identifies Plato's "fabric" and its locus of severance and solves other thorny problems of textual interpretation.

Intolerance, Polemics, and Debate in Antiquity

Politico-Cultural, Philosophical, and Religious Forms of Critical Conversation

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Edited by George H. van Kooten and Jacques van Ruiten

In Intolerance, Polemics, and Debate in Antiquity scholars reflect on politico-cultural, philosophical, and religious forms of critical conversation in the ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, Graeco-Roman, and early-Islamic world. They enquire into the boundaries between debate, polemics, and intolerance, and address their manifestations in both philosophy and religion. This cross-cultural and inclusive approach shows that debate and polemics are not so different as often assumed, since polemics may also indicate that ultimate values are at stake. Polemics can also have a positive effect, stimulating further cultural development. Intolerance is more straightforwardly negative. Religious intolerance is often a justification for politics, but also elite rationalism can become totalitarian. The volume also highlights the importance of the fluency of minorities in the dominant discourses and of their ability to develop contrapuntal lines of thought within a common cultural discourse.

Der Einheitsbegriff als Kohärenzprinzip bei Maximus Confessor

Eine Studie zu Ps-Dionysius-Rezeption, triplex via und analogem Weltbild bei Maximus Confessor

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Jonathan Bieler

In The Concept of Unity as the Principle of Coherence in Maximus Confessor Jonathan Bieler lays out the importance of the concepts of transcendent divine unity, goodness and truth for understanding the coherence of the whole of Maximus’ thought, which brings together theology, anthropology and Christology into a unified vision that is based on an analogy between creator and creation. Interpreting the concepts of Maximus’ thought remains a contentious subject in Maximian scholarship. By evaluating the interior coherence and historical situation of Maximus’ thought in general and by studying the influence of Ps-Dionysius the Areopagite’s methodology on Maximus’ Christology in particular the author shows the context in which Maximus’ well-known conceptual distinctions can be understood in a helpful way. Jonathan Bieler erläutert in Der Einheitsbegriff als Kohärenzprinzip bei Maximus Confessor die zentrale Rolle der Begriffe der göttlichen Einheit, Güte und Wahrheit für ein Verständnis der Kohärenz von Maximus’ Denken, das Gotteslehre, Anthropologie und Christologie zu einer einheitlichen Sicht versammelt, beruhend auf einer Analogie zwischen Schöpfer und Geschöpf. Die Interpretation von Maximus’ Konzepten ist ein umstrittenes Gebiet in der Forschung. Durch eine Auswertung der inneren Kohärenz und der historischen Situation des Maximus und durch eine Untersuchung des Einflusses, den Ps-Dionysius Areopagitas Methodik auf die Christologie des Maximus ausgeübt hat, zeigt der Autor den Kontext auf, in dem Maximus’ begriffliche Unterscheidungen auf eine hilfreiche Weise verstanden werden können.

Themistius’ Paraphrase of Aristotle’s Metaphysics 12

A Critical Hebrew-Arabic Edition of the Surviving Textual Evidence, with an Introduction, Preliminary Studies, and a Commentary

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Yoav Meyrav

Themistius’ (4th century CE) paraphrase of Aristotle’s Metaphysics 12 is the earliest surviving complete account of this seminal work. Despite leaving no identifiable mark in Late Antiquity, Themistius’ paraphrase played a dramatic role in shaping the metaphysical landscape of Medieval Arabic and Hebrew philosophy and theology. Lost in Greek, and only partially surviving in Arabic, its earliest full version is in the form of a 13th century Hebrew translation. In this volume, Yoav Meyrav offers a new critical edition of the Hebrew translation and the Arabic fragments of Themistius’ paraphrase, accompanied by detailed philological and philosophical analyses. In doing so, he provides a solid foundation for the study of one of the most important texts in the history of Aristotelian metaphysics.

Essen im antiken Judentum und Urchristentum

Diskurse zur sozialen Bedeutung von Tischgemeinschaft, Speiseverboten und Reinheitsvorschriften

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Christina Eschner

In Essen im antiken Judentum und Urchristentum untersucht Christina Eschner die Auseinandersetzungen zum jüdischen Gesetz innerhalb des Urchristentums vor dem Hintergrund vergleichbarer Diskurse im antiken Judentum. Ziel ist es, die urchristliche Praxis des Gesetzes in ihrem größeren Kontext darzustellen und ihr gegebenenfalls einen bestimmten Platz im facettenreichen Bild der zeitgenössischen jüdischen Strömungen zuzuweisen. Dabei finden Schriften aus Qumran, dem griechischsprachigen und dem rabbinischen Judentum Berücksichtigung. Der Fokus liegt auf Vorschriften zu verbotenen Speisen, zur Tischgemeinschaft und zur erlaubten Art und Weise der Nahrungsaufnahme. Auch pagane Traditionen werden einbezogen. Damit ist diese Studie besonders interdisziplinär ausgerichtet. Sie bewegt sich an der Schnittstelle zwischen Themenfeldern der neutestamentlichen Wissenschaft, der Altphilologie, der Alten Geschichte und der Judaistik. Sie kommt zu dem Ergebnis, dass die urchristlichen Diskurse zum Essen nicht auf eine vollständige Abschaffung der entsprechenden jüdischen Gesetzesanordungen zielen.

In Essen im antiken Judentum und Urchristentum Christina Eschner examines the Early Christian disputes about the Jewish law against the background of Ancient Jewish discourses on commands of the law, in order to situate the Early Christian practice of the law within its broader context. Jewish sources include the Dead Sea Scrolls, Jewish writings in Greek and early rabbinic texts. This study focusses on rules concerning prohibited food, table fellowship and the permissible way of food intake. Pagan traditions are also considered. Thus, the work has an interdisciplinary orientation, discussing issues at the junction of New Testament studies, Classics, Ancient History and Jewish studies. It concludes that Early Christian food discourses do not aim for the complete abolition of the law.