Paul and the Rise of the Slave locates Paul’s description of himself as a “slave of Messiah Jesus” in the epistolary prescript of Paul’s Epistle to Rome within the conceptual world of those who experienced the social reality of slavery in the first century C.E. The Althusserian concept of
interpellation and the
Life of Aesop are employed throughout as theoretical frameworks to enhance how Paul offered positive ways for slaves to imagine an existence apart from Roman power. An exegesis of Romans 6:12-23 seeks to reclaim the earliest reception of Romans as prophetic discourse aimed at an anti-Imperial response among slaves and lower class readers.
The Religious Aspect of Warfare in the Ancient Near East, Greece and Rome is a volume dedicated to investigating the relationship between religion and war in antiquity in minute detail. The nineteen chapters are divided into three groups: the ancient Near East, Greece, and Rome. They are presented in turn and all possible aspects of warfare and its religious connections are investigated. The contributors focus on the theology of war, the role of priests in warfare, natural phenomena as signs for military activity, cruelty, piety, the divinity of humans in specific martial cases, rituals of war, iconographical representations and symbols of war, and even the archaeology of war. As editor Krzysztof Ulanowski invited both well-known specialists such as Robert Parker, Nicholas Sekunda, and Pietro Mander to contribute, as well as many young, talented scholars with fresh ideas. From this polyphony of voices, perspectives and opinions emerges a diverse, but coherent, representation of the complex relationship between religion and war in antiquity.
This book is the fruit of the first ever interdisciplinary international scientific conference on Matthew's story of the Star of Bethlehem and the Magi, held in 2014 at the University of Groningen, and attended by world-leading specialists in all relevant fields: modern astronomy, the ancient near-eastern and Greco-Roman worlds, the history of science, and religion. The scholarly discussions and the exchange of the interdisciplinary views proved to be immensely fruitful and resulted in the present book. Its twenty chapters describe the various aspects of The Star: the history of its interpretation, ancient near-eastern astronomy and astrology and the Magi, astrology in the Greco-Roman and the Jewish worlds, and the early Christian world – at a generally accessible level. An epilogue summarizes the fact-fiction balance of the most famous star which has ever shone.
Karl Jaspers dubbed the period, 800-400 BCE, the Axial Age. Axial it was, for out of it emerged the idea of Greek culture, with its influence on Roman and later empires. Jaspers’ Axial Age was the chrysalis of culturally-meaningful modernity.
Trade expands intellectual horizons. The economic and political effects permeate such social domains as technology, language and worldview. In the last category, many issues take on an emotional freight – the birth of science, monotheism, philosophy, even theory itself.
Cultural Contact and Appropriation in the Axial-Age Mediterranean World: A Periplos, explores adaptation, resistance and reciprocity in Axial-Age Mediterranean exchange (ca. 800-300 BCE). Some essayists expand on an international discussion about myth, to which even the Church Fathers contributed. Others explore questions of how vocabulary is reapplied, or how the alphabet is reapplied, in a new environment. Detailed cases ground participants’ capacity to illustrate both the variety of the disciplinary integuments in which we now speak, one with the other, across disciplines, and the sheer complexity of constructing a workable programme for true collaboration.
This work gives a detailed survey of the rise and expansion of Christianity in ancient Lycaonia and adjacent areas, from Paul the apostle until the late 4th-century bishop of Iconium, Amphilochius. It is essentially based on hundreds of funerary inscriptions from Lycaonia, but takes into account all available literary evidence. It maps the expansion of Christianity in the region and describes the practice of name-giving among Christians, their household and family structures, occupations, and use of verse inscriptions. It gives special attention to forms of charity, the reception of biblical tradition, the authority and leadership of the clergy, popular theology and forms of ascetic Christianity in Lycaonia.
The essays in this volume originate from the Third Qumran Institute Symposium held at the University of Groningen, December 2013. Taking the flexible concept of “cultural encounter” as a starting point, the essays in this volume bring together a panoply of approaches to the study of various cultural interactions between the people of ancient Israel, Judea, and Palestine and people from other parts of the ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern world.
In order to study how cultural encounters shaped historical development, literary traditions, religious practice and political systems, the contributors employ a broad spectrum of theoretical positions (e.g., hybridity, métissage, frontier studies, postcolonialism, entangled histories and multilingualism), to interpret a diverse set of literary, documentary, archaeological, epigraphic, numismatic, and iconographic sources.
The Origin and Meaning of Ekklēsia
in the Early Jesus Movement, Ralph J. Korner explores the ideological implications of Christ-follower associations self-designating collectively as
ekklēsiai. Politically, Korner’s inscriptional research suggests that an association named
ekklēsia would have been perceived as a positive, rather than as a counter-imperial, participant within Imperial Greek cities. Socio-religiously, Korner argues that there was no universal
ekklēsia to which all first generation Christ-followers belonged;
ekklēsia was a permanent group designation used by Paul’s associations. Ethno-religiously, Korner contends that
ekklēsia usage by
intra muros groups within pluriform Second Temple Judaism problematizes suggestions, not least at the institutional level, that Paul was “parting ways” with Judaism(s), ‘Jewishness’, or Jewish organizational forms.
Synagogues in the Works of Flavius Josephus, Andrew Krause analyses the place of the synagogue within the cultural and spatial rhetoric of Flavius Josephus. Engaging with both rhetorical critical methods and critical spatial theories, Krause argues that in his later writings Josephus portrays the Jewish institutions as an important aspect of the post-Temple, pan-diasporic Judaism that he creates. Specifically, Josephus consistently treats the synagogue as a supra-local rallying point for the Jews throughout the world, in which the Jewish customs and Law may be practiced and disseminated following the loss of the Temple and the Land. Conversely, in his earliest extant work,
Bellum judaicum, Josephus portrays synagogues as local temples in order to condemn the Jewish insurgents who violated them.
This book explores how early Christian communities constructed, developed, and asserted their identity and authority in various socio-cultural contexts in Asia Minor and Greece in the first five centuries CE. With the help of the database
Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae (
ICG), special attention is given to ancient inscriptions which represent a rich and valuable source of information on the early Christians’ social and religious identity, family networks, authority structures, and place and function in society. This collection of essays by various specialists of Early Christianity, Epigraphy, and Late Antiquity, offers a broad geographical survey of the expansion and socio-cultural development of Christianity/ies in Asia Minor and Greece, and sheds new light on the religious transformation of the Later Roman Empire.
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.