Jews and Christians under the Roman Empire shared a unique sense of community. Set apart from their civic and cultic surroundings, both groups resisted complete assimilation into the dominant political and social structures. However, Jewish communities differed from their Christian counterparts in their overall patterns of response to the surrounding challenges. They exhibit diverse levels of integration into the civic fabric of the cities of the Empire and display contrary attitudes towards the creation of trans-local communal networks. The variety of local case studies examined in this volume offers an integrated image of the multiple factors, both internal and external, which determined the role of communal identity in creating a sense of belonging among Jews and Christians under Imperial constraints.
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.
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.
Monachus et sacerdos untersucht Christian Hornung die Asketisierung des Klerus im antiken Christentum. Analysiert werden theologische Begründungen der Asketisierung, ihre Einforderung in der kirchlichen Disziplin sowie die konkrete Umsetzung in der Pastoral. Ein eigenes Kapitel ist den Widerständen gegen die Durchsetzung der Asketisierung gewidmet.
Hornung kann überzeugend aufzeigen, dass die Asketisierung als ein umfassender Prozess einer zunehmenden asketischen Konzeptualisierung des Klerus zu deuten ist, der sich an die Professionalisierung in vorkonstantinischer Zeit anschließt und zu einer Ausdifferenzierung unterschiedlicher christlicher Lebensformen führt.
Monachus et sacerdos Christian Hornung examines the asceticism of the clergy in late antique Christianity. The theological justifications of asceticism, its demand in ecclesiastical discipline and its concrete implementation in pastoral care are analysed. A separate chapter is devoted to resistances against the enforcement of asceticism in the clergy.
Hornung convincingly demonstrates that the asceticism is a broad process of increasing ascetic conceptualization of the clergy, which follows the professionalization in pre-Constantine time and leads to a differentiation of Christian life forms.
The apostle Peter gradually became one of the most famous figures of the ancient world. His almost undisputed reputation made the disciple an exquisite anchor by which new practices within and outside the Church could be established, including innovations in fields as diverse as architecture, art, cult, epigraphy, liturgy, poetry and politics. This interdisciplinary volume inquires the way in which the figure of Peter functioned as an anchor for various people from different periods and geographical areas. The concept of Anchoring Innovation is used to investigate the history of the reception of the apostle Peter from the first century up to Charlemagne, revealing as much about Peter as about the context in which this reception took place.
The Cult of Mithras in Late Antiquity David Walsh explores how the cult of Mithras developed across the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D. and why by the early 5th century the cult had completely disappeared. Contrary to the traditional narrative that the cult was violently persecuted out of existence by Christians, Walsh demonstrates that the cult’s decline was a far more gradual process that resulted from a variety of factors. He also challenges the popular image of the cult as a monolithic entity, highlighting how by the 4th century Mithras had come to mean different things to different people in different places.
This volume deals with how Christians of the first centuries looked back on the period of the nascent Church. Thanks to the incomparable stature of its founder, Jesus Christ, who had descended from heaven and commissioned his Apostles, this period was authorative for all Christians in matters of doctrine, institutions, rites and morality, a new phenomenon in the Graeco-Roman world. Its implications are explored in sixteen essays dealing with various subjects such as liturgy, the canon of Scriptures, the role of miracles, art, monasticism, and ministry. All contributions, taking into account both the views of individual Church fathers and Gnostic and Manichaean texts, make a large amount of primary material available.
This volume deals with the episcopate of Cyril of Jerusalem (350 to 387). Its overall theme is the relationship between the city and its bishop and, in particular, Cyril’s efforts to promote Jerusalem as the Christian city
par excellence, by employing Jerusalem’s religious symbols - the holy sites and the Cross. Apart from chapters on Jerusalem in the fourth century C.E. and on the life and works of Cyril, this study discusses important aspects and events of Cyril's episcopacy, such as his pastoral work as an urban bishop of the Jerusalem Christian community, Jerusalem’s liturgy, the rebuilding of the Temple, giving a re-interpretation of the Syriac letter ascribed to Cyril about this event, and Jerusalem’s and Palestine’s religious landscape.
Life of Aaron is one of the most interesting and sophisticated hagiographical works surviving in Coptic. The work contains descriptions of the lives of ascetic monks, in particular Apa Aaron, on the southern Egyptian frontier in the fourth and early fifth centuries, and was probably written in the sixth century. Even though the first edition of this work was already published by E.A. Wallis Budge in 1915, a critical edition remained outstanding. In this book Jitse H.F. Dijkstra and Jacques van der Vliet present not only a critical text, for the most part based on the only completely preserved, tenth-century manuscript, but also a new translation and an exhaustive commentary addressing philological, literary and historical aspects of the text.