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Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham

Introduction, Translation, and Commentary

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Ellen Birnbaum and John M. Dillon

On the Life of Abraham displays Philo’s philosophical, exegetical, and literary genius at its best. Philo begins by introducing the biblical figures Enos, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as unwritten laws. Then, interweaving literal, ethical, and allegorical interpretations, Philo presents the life and achievements of Abraham, founder of the Jewish nation, in the form of a Greco-Roman bios, or biography. Ellen Birnbaum and John Dillon explain why and how this work is important within the context of Philo’s own oeuvre, early Jewish and Christian exegesis, and ancient philosophy. They also offer a new English translation and detailed analyses, in which they elucidate the meaning of Philo’s thought, including his perplexing notion that Israel’s ancestors were laws in themselves.

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.

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Laela Zwollo

In Augustine and Plotinus: the Human Mind as Image of the Divine Laela Zwollo provides an inside view of two of the most influential thinkers of late antiquity: the Christian Augustine and the Neo-Platonist Plotinus. By exploring the finer points and paradoxes of their doctrines of the image of God (the human soul/intellect), the illustrious church father’s complex interaction with his most important non-biblical source comes into focus. In order to fathom Augustine, we should first grasp the beauty in Plotinus’ philosophy and its attractiveness to Christians. This monograph will contribute to a better understanding of the formative years of Christianity as well as later ancient philosophy. It can serve as a handbook for becoming acquainted with the two thinkers, as well as for delving into the profundity of their thought.

Gregory of Nyssa: Contra Eunomium I

An English Translation with Supporting Studies

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Edited by Miguel Brugarolas

The Contra Eunomium is probably Gregory of Nyssa’s most challenging work with regards to his theological and philosophical thought, and one that continues to draw the deeper attention of contemporary scholars.
This volume devoted to Contra Eunomium I constitutes, in a certain way, a new version of the Proceedings of the 6th International Colloquium on Gregory of Nyssa (1988). It offers a revised English translation of Contra Eunomium I by S. G. Hall, accompanied by twenty-two supporting studies from a broad range of philological, philosophical, and theological perspectives. These studies include a selection of the most relevant papers of the 1988 Proceedings, supplemented with new contributions that explore relevant issues developed by contemporary research.

Gregory of Nyssa: In Canticum Canticorum

Analytical and Supporting Studies. Proceedings of the 13th International Colloquium on Gregory of Nyssa (Rome, 17-20 September 2014)

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Edited by Giulio Maspero, Miguel Brugarolas and Ilaria Vigorelli

Taken together, Gregory of Nyssa’s XV Homilies In Canticum Canticorum are at the same time – as if in unison – a work of spiritual, exegetical, and theological doctrine. The wide spectrum of the themes present in them have prompted a great interest in this work, not only among scholars of patristics or theology, but also among those interested in biblical interpretation, ancient rhetoric or Christian mystical doctrine. These Proceedings present the results of the 13th International Colloquium on Gregory of Nyssa (Rome, 17-20 September 2014): a systematic commentary of Gregory’s In Canticum from a broad perspective in the form of sixteen papers and a selection of fourteen short essays devoted to various issues that represent a valuable set of supporting studies.

The Gospel of Thomas and Plato

A Study of the Impact of Platonism on the “Fifth Gospel”

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Ivan Miroshnikov

In The Gospel of Thomas and Plato, Ivan Miroshnikov contributes to the study of the earliest Christian engagements with philosophy by offering the first systematic discussion of the impact of Platonism on the Gospel of Thomas, one of the most intriguing and cryptic works among the Nag Hammadi writings. Miroshnikov demonstrates that a Platonist lens is indispensable to the understanding of a number of the Thomasine sayings that have, for decades, remained elusive as exegetical cruces. The Gospel of Thomas is thus an important witness to the early stages of the process that eventually led to the Platonist formulation of certain Christian dogmata.

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Edited by Joey Dodson and David Briones

Paul and Seneca in Dialogue assembles an international group of scholars to compare the philosophical and theological strands in Paul and Seneca’s writings, placing them in dialogue with one another. Arguably, no other first-century, non-Christian writer’s thoughts resemble Paul’s as closely as Seneca’s, and scholars have often found value in comparing Pauline concepts with Seneca’s writings. Nevertheless, apart from the occasional article, broad comparison, or cross-reference, an in-depth critical comparison of these writers has not been attempted for over fifty years – since Sevenster’s monograph of 1961. In the light of the vast amount of research offering new perspectives on both Paul and Seneca since the early 1960s, this new comparison of the two writers is long overdue.

Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World

From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity

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Edited by Anders Klostergaard Petersen and George H. van Kooten

This first volume of the new Brill series “Ancient Philosophy & Religion” is a collection of articles by scholars of Classics, Ancient Philosophy, and Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity. The articles are based on papers presented at two colloquia on the interface between Ancient Philosophy and Religion at the universities of Aarhus and Cambridge. They focus extensively on Platonic philosophy and piety and sketch an emerging religio-philosophical discourse in ancient Judaism (both in the Sibylline Oracles and 4 Maccabees). Furthermore, this volume studies Seneca’s religio-philosophical understanding of 'consolation', compares early depictions of Jesus with those of ancient philosophers, and, finally, reconsiders responses of pagan philosophers to Christianity from the second century to Late Antiquity.

The So-Called Eighth Stromateus by Clement of Alexandria

Early Christian reception of Greek scientific methodology

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Matyáš Havrda

The so-called eighth Stromateus (‘liber logicus’) by Clement of Alexandria (d. before 221 C.E.) is an understudied source for ancient philosophy, particularly the tradition of the Aristotelian methodology of science, scepticism, and the theories of causation. A series of capitula dealing with inquiry and demonstration, it bears but few traces of Christian interests.

In this volume, Matyáš Havrda provides a new edition, translation, and lemmatic commentary of the text. The vexing question of the origin of this material and its place within Clement’s oeuvre is also addressed. Defending the view of ‘liber logicus’ as a collection of excerpts made or adopted by Clement for his own (apologetic and exegetical) use, Havrda argues that its source could be Galen’s lost treatise On Demonstration.

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Edited by Domenico Accorinti

The Egyptian Nonnus of Panopolis (5th century AD), author of both the ‘pagan’ Dionysiaca, the longest known poem from Antiquity (21,286 lines in 48 books, the same number of books as the Iliad and Odyssey combined), and a ‘Christian’ hexameter Paraphrase of St John’s Gospel (3,660 lines in 21 books), is no doubt the most representative poet of Greek Late Antiquity. Brill’s Companion to Nonnus of Panopolis provides a collection of 32 essays by a large international group of scholars, experts in the field of archaic, Hellenistic, Imperial, and Christian poetry, as well as scholars of late antique Egypt, Greek mythology and religion, who explore the various aspects of Nonnus’ baroque poetry and its historical, religious and cultural background.