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Basil of Caesarea. Questions of the Brothers

Syriac Text and English Translation

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Anna M. Silvas

Basil of Caesarea (c. 328-378) was the great father of Christian monasticism in eastern Anatolia, whose influence spread into all the Greek, Latin and Syriac speaking churches. Basil’s counsels for ascetics in community are collected in his Asketikon. The earliest version, the Small Asketikon, did not survive in the Greek, but only in a Latin translation ( The Rule of Basil), and in a Syriac translation ( The Questions of the Brothers). Silvas presents the first ever edition of the entire Syriac translation, drawn from five manuscripts, the oldest from the late 5th century. The introductory study shows how the Syriac translator was himself a warm-hearted spiritual father who made his own authorial contributions to the Questions of the Brothers.

The Gospel of John: More Light from Philo, Paul and Archaeology

The Scriptures, Tradition, Exposition, Settings, Meaning

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Peder Borgen

To Paul the traditions from and about Jesus had authority similar to that of the Scriptures: a logion or story served as text for paraphrastic expositions. Such expositions are also seen in John's Gospel. - It is insufficient to discuss 'John and the Synoptics'. A better scope is 'John within early gospel traditions'.- Paul and Philo maintain a cosmic understanding of Jesus and the Jewish people, respectively. Correspondingly, Jesus is seen in cosmological perspective in John's Prologue. Philo illuminates the role of God's logos relative to creation and revelation. - Archaeology testifies to the reliability of John's topographical references. Both John and Philo can combine theological and ideological elaborations with specific geographical references, historical events and religious feasts. The study has brought in material and perspectives which strengthen the view that the Gospel of John was independent of the other three written gospels.

Pre-Nicene Christology in Paschal Contexts

The Case of the Divine Noetic Anthropos

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Dragoş Giulea

In Pre-Nicene Christology in Paschal Contexts Dragoş A. Giulea re-examines the earliest texts related to the festival of Easter in light of Second Temple traditions. Commonly portrayed as sacrificial lamb, the key actor of the paschal narrative is here designated as heavenly Kabod, Divine Image, King of the Powers, celestial Anthropos, Demiurge, Son of Man, each of these divine names implying a corresponding soteriological function.
Dragoş A. Giulea indicates as well that the Greek philosophical vocabulary and certain idioms of the mystery religions inspired new categories which reshaped the traditional way of describing the nature of celestial entities and the epistemological capacities able to access these realities. Thus, the King of the Powers, or the Son of Man, is several times described as a noetic Anthropos, while initiation and noetic perception become the appropriate methods of accessing the divine.

Pottery, Pavements, and Paradise

Iconographic and Textual Studies on Late Antiquity

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Annewies van den Hoek and John Joseph Herrmann

These essays on late antiquity traverse a territory in which Christian and pagan imagery and practices compete, coexist, and intermingle. The iconography of the most significant late antique ceramic, African Red Slip Ware, is an important and relatively unexploited vehicle for documenting the diversity and interpenetration of late antique cultures. Literary texts and art in other media, particularly mosaics, provide imagery that complement and enhance the messages of the ceramics. Popular entertainments, pagan cults, mythic heroes, beasts, monsters, and biblical visions are themes dealt with on the patrician and popular levels. With interpretive supplements from these diverse realms, it is possible to achieve greater insight into the life, attitudes, and thought of Late Antiquity.

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Laury Sarti

The passage from Antiquity to the Middle Ages has been largely studied in the light of the thesis of a gradual transformation, which is in contradiction of the previous assumption of an abrupt break due to war and general calamity. Perceiving War and the Military reassesses this historical period of transition by an investigation of the contemporary world of thought that examines the impact and significance of a permanently increasing contact with warfare and armed violence. Her studies confirm the assumption of a gradual shift, but they most of all show that the irrevocable end of the Roman Peace was a crucial factor in the late Roman world becoming gradually “medieval”.

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Edited by Bronwen Neil and Matthew J. Dal Santo

What made Pope Gregory I “great”? If the Middle Ages had no difficulty recognizing Gregory as one of its most authoritative points of reference, modern readers have not always found this question as easy to answer. As with any great figure, however, there are two sides to Gregory – the historical and the universal. The contributors to this handbook look at Gregory’s “greatness” from both of these angles: what made Gregory stand out among his contemporaries; and what is unique about Gregory’s contribution through his many written works to the development of human thought and described human experience.

Contributors include: Jane Baun, Philip Booth, Matthew Dal Santo, Scott DeGregorio, George E. Demacopoulos, Bernard Green, Ann Kuzdale, Stephen Lake, Andrew Louth, Constant J. Mews, John Moorhead, Barbara Müller, Bronwen Neil, Richard M. Pollard, Claire Renkin, Cristina Ricci, and Carole Straw.

Birthing Salvation

Gender and Class in Early Christian Childbearing Discourse

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Anna Rebecca Solevåg

In Birthing Salvation Anna Rebecca Solevåg explores the theme of childbearing in early Christian discourse. The book maps the importance of women’s childbearing in Greco-Roman culture and shows how childbearing discourse interfaces with salvation discourse in three early Christian texts: the Pastoral Epistles, the Acts of Andrew and the Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas. Issues of gender and class are explored through an intersectional analysis. In particular, the institution of slavery, and its implications for ideas about salvation in these texts are drawn out. Birthing Salvation offers fresh interpretations of these texts, including the peculiar statement in 1 Tim 2:15 that women “will be saved through childbearing.”

Crisis Management in Late Antiquity (410-590 CE)

A Survey of the Evidence from Episcopal Letters

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Edited by Pauline Allen and Bronwen Neil

Pauline Allen and Bronwen Neil investigate crisis management as conducted by the increasingly important episcopal class in the 5th and 6th centuries. Their basic source is the neglected corpus of bishops’ letters in Greek and Latin, the letter being the most significant mode of communication and information-transfer in the period from 410 to 590 CE. The volume brings together into a wider setting a wealth of previous international research on episcopal strategies for dealing with crises of various kinds. Six broad categories of crisis are identified and analysed: population displacement, natural disasters, religious disputes and religious violence, social abuses and the breakdown of the structures of dependence. Individual case-studies of episcopal management are provided for each of these categories. This is the first comprehensive treatment of crisis management in the late-antique world, and the first survey of episcopal letter-writing across the later Roman empire.

The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis

A Critical Assessment from the New Testament to Eriugena

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Ilaria Ramelli

The theory of apokatastasis (restoration), most famously defended by the Alexandrian exegete, philosopher and theologian Origen, has its roots in both Greek philosophy and Jewish-Christian Scriptures and literature, and became a major theologico-soteriological doctrine in patristics. This monograph—the first comprehensive, systematic scholarly study of the history of the Christian apokatastasis doctrine—argues its presence and Christological and Biblical foundation in numerous Christian thinkers, including Syriac, and analyses its origins, meaning, and development over eight centuries, from the New Testament to Eriugena, the last patristic philosopher. Surprises await readers of this book, which results from fifteen years of research. For instance, they will discover that even Augustine, in his anti-Manichaean phase, supported the theory of universal restoration.

Augustine and Manichaean Christianity

Selected Papers from the First South African Conference on Augustine of Hippo, University of Pretoria, 24-26 April 2012

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Edited by Johannes van Oort

Based on several newly discovered texts, Augustine and Manichaean Christianity provides groundbreaking discussions of the relationship between the most influential church father of the West and the religion of his formative years. Augustine’s connection with Manichaean Christians was not only intense, but also enduring. This book unearths the essential background of writings such as Augustine’s Confessiones, De ordine and De vera religione, and discloses many a hidden Manichaean source of his powerful concepts of memory and the vision of God. Contributions by, among others, Iain Gardner, Therese Fuhrer, Jason BeDuhn, Majella Franzmann, Josef Lössl, Annemaré Kotzé and Nils Arne Pedersen.