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In this collection of thematically arranged essays on the Gospel according to Mark, the first part highlights its reception in early Christianity, its text form as an episodic narrative and its relation to contemporary genres. It recognizes Mark’s dependence on traditions from and about Jesus of Nazareth and the presupposed knowledge about the narrated locations in Galilee. The second part focuses on the discourse itself, presenting studies on style, use of metaphor, intertextuality, and strategies of persuasion. The third part treats the Christology, ethics and eschatology and the way in which the narrator gives meaning to Jesus’s death. The fourth part returns to the burning issue of what lies behind Mark and how we can study it, ending with a proposal to discuss the composition of the narrative within the framework of performance theory.
Author: I. Tzvi Abusch
In this volume, I. Tzvi Abusch presents studies written over a span of forty years prior to his retirement from Brandeis University in 2019. They reflect several themes that he has pursued in addition to his work on witchcraft literature and the Epic of Gilgamesh. Part 1 includes general articles on Mesopotamian magic, religion, and mythology, followed by a set of articles on Akkadian prayers, especially šuillas, focusing on exegetical and linguistic (synchronic) studies and on diachronic analyses. Part 2 contains a series of literary studies of Mesopotamian and biblical classics. Part 3 is devoted to comparative studies of terms and phenomena. Part 4 examines legal texts.

The Harvard Semitic Studies series publishes volumes from the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East. Other series offered by Brill that publish volumes from the Museum include Studies in the Archaeology and History of the Levant and Harvard Semitic Monographs, https://hmane.harvard.edu/publications.
Author: Justin Allison
In Saving One Another: Philodemus and Paul on Moral Formation in Community Justin Reid Allison compares how the Epicurean philosopher Philodemus and the Christian apostle Paul envisioned the members of their communities helping one another to grow into moral maturity. Allison establishes that Philodemus and Paul are more similar than previously noticed in their conception and practice of moral formation in community, and that these similarities offer a critical opportunity to consider important differences between the two as well. By deepening the comparison to include differences alongside similarities, and to include theological and socio-economic facets of communal moral formation, Allison shows that Philodemus and Paul uniquely shed fresh light on one another’s texts when understood in comparative perspective.
Author: Patrick Hart
A Prolegomenon to the Study of Paul examines foundational assumptions that ground all interpretations of the apostle Paul. This examination touches on several topics, invoking issues pertaining to truth, hermeneutics, canonicity, historiography, pseudonymity, literary genres, and authority. Underlying all of this is a guiding thesis, namely, that every encounter with Paul involves “Pauline Archimedean points,” or fixed points of reference that establish the measure for constructing any interpretation of Paul whatsoever. Building on this, the author interrogates various issues that inform the formation of these Pauline Archimedean points, in pursuit of an important but modest goal: to urge Pauline readers to engage in a modicum of self-reflection over the various considerations that precondition all of our efforts to comprehend Paul.
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.
The Rhetoric of Ritual Failure in the Polemic Against the Host of Heaven
Author: Cat Quine
In Casting Down the Host of Heaven Cat Quine analyses the ambiguous nature of the Host and explores the role of ritual in the polemic against their worship. Although commonly assumed to be YHWH’s divine army, the book reveals their non-military and fluid nature. Quine demonstrates that it was the fluidity of the Host and their roles in the divine realm that permitted the creation of wide-ranging polemic against their worship. Her analysis shows that this polemic was expressed in ritual terms which persuaded its audiences, both ancient and modern, of its legitimacy and authority.
Collected Essays on Mani, Manichaeism and Augustine
Mani and Augustine: collected essays on Mani, Manichaeism and Augustine gathers in one volume contributions on Manichaean scholarship made by the internationally renowned scholar Johannes van Oort. The first part of the book focuses on the Babylonian prophet Mani (216-277) who styled himself an ‘apostle of Jesus Christ’, on Jewish elements in Manichaeism and on ‘human semen eucharist’, eschatology and imagery of Christ as ‘God’s Right Hand’. The second part of the book concentrates on the question to what extent the former ‘auditor’ Augustine became acquainted with Mani’s gnostic world religion and his canonical writings, and explores to what extent Manichaeism had a lasting impact on the most influential church father of the West.
The Gospel According to Sayyid Ahmad Khan (1817-1898) offers an annotated translation of Tabyīn al-kalām (Part 3), a commentary on the Gospel of St. Matthew (Chapters 1-5) by one of South Asia’s most innovative public thinkers. Broadly known for his modernist interpretation of Islam, Sayyid Ahmad Khan (1817-1898) appears here as a contemplative mystic who is determined to show the interrelated nature of the Bible and Qur’ān, and the affinity of Christian and Muslim scriptural exegesis.

Uncommon in the history of Christian-Muslim relations, Sayyid Ahmad Khan presents what can only be described as a serious reading of the Gospel. The work includes an extensive introduction to the early Church in general, and the development of the Trinitarian doctrine in particular. Never before presented in English, the text sheds important new light upon the spiritual and intellectual journey of this leading modern interpreter.
Author: Thomas E. Hunt
In Jerome of Stridon and the Ethics of Literary Production in Late Antiquity Thomas E. Hunt argues that Jerome developed a consistent theology of language and the human body that inflected all of his writing projects. In doing so, the book challenges and recasts the way that this important figure in Late Antiquity has been understood. This study maps the first seven years of Jerome’s time in Bethlehem (386–393). Treating his commentaries on Paul, his hagiography, his controversy with Jovinian, his correspondence with Augustine, and his translation of Hebrew, the book shows Jerome to be immersed in the exciting and dangerous currents moving through late antique Christianity.