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Edited by David Frankfurter

In the midst of academic debates about the utility of the term “magic” and the cultural meaning of ancient words like mageia or khesheph, this Guide to the Study of Ancient Magic seeks to advance the discussion by separating out three topics essential to the very idea of magic. The three major sections of this volume address (1) indigenous terminologies for ambiguous or illicit ritual in antiquity; (2) the ancient texts, manuals, and artifacts commonly designated “magical” or used to represent ancient magic; and (3) a series of contexts, from the written word to materiality itself, to which the term “magic” might usefully pertain.

The individual essays in this volume cover most of Mediterranean and Near Eastern antiquity, with essays by both established and emergent scholars of ancient religions.

In a burgeoning field of “magic studies” trying both to preserve and to justify critically the category itself, this volume brings new clarity and provocative insights. This will be an indispensable resource to all interested in magic in the Bible and the Ancient Near East, ancient Greece and Rome, Early Christianity and Judaism, Egypt through the Christian period, and also comparative and critical theory.

Revisioning John Chrysostom

New Approaches, New Perspectives

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Edited by Chris de Wet and Wendy Mayer

In Revisioning John Chrysostom, Chris de Wet and Wendy Mayer harness and promote a new wave of scholarship on the life and works of this famous late-antique (c. 350-407 CE) preacher. New theories from the cognitive and neurosciences, cultural and sleep studies, and history of the emotions, among others, meld with reconsideration of lapsed approaches – his debt to Graeco-Roman paideia, philosophy, and now medicine – resulting in sometimes surprising and challenging conclusions. Together the chapters produce a fresh vision of John Chrysostom that moves beyond the often negative views of the 20th century and open up substantially new vistas for exploration.

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Bart Koet

In recent and contemporary scholarship, the deacon as a leader in the Early Church is an often-neglected subject. This book focuses on the roles and functions of the deacon in Augustine’s literary output. The author’s approach is detailed and appropriately cautious and is always attentive to the text. He analyses Augustine’s way of commenting on deacons and how the bishop of Hippo wrote about them, as well as his manner of preaching on saints and martyrs who were deacons. The book thus provides a new perspective on the early deacons who were not social workers, but go-betweens or intermediaries between the bishop and his flock, between the Scriptures and daily life, and between Church and society. He emphasises in particular how deacons were epistle bearers responsible for the world wide web of Early Christianity.

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Edited by John Tchalenko and Emma Loosley Leeming

This book is the first full-length work concerning the restoration and excavations carried out at Qal’at Sem’an in Syria in the twentieth century. It was written by the notable architect and archaeologist Georges Tchalenko based on his notes, plans, photographs and sketches as he undertook the work in the years before and during the Second World War. Left unpublished at the time of his death during the Lebanese Civil War, it is published here for the first time in the original French with an English translation. The text is richly illustrated throughout and accompanied by a biographical essay by John Tchalenko and an introduction to the historiography of Qal’at Sem’an and Symeon Stylites by Emma Loosley Leeming.

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H.A.G. Houghton, C.M. Kreinecker, R.F MacLachlan and C.J Smith

The earliest Latin versions of the writings of the New Testament offer important insights into the oldest forms of the biblical text, the use of language in the ancient Church and the foundations from which Christian theology developed in the West. This volume presents a collation of Old Latin evidence for the four principal Pauline Epistles (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians and Galatians). The sources comprise twenty-six Vetus Latina manuscripts, ten commentaries written between the fourth and sixth centuries and four early testimonia collections. Their text differs in many ways from the standard Vulgate version. Created using innovative digital editing tools, this collation makes this valuable data available for the first time and is complemented by full electronic transcriptions online.

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Edited by AnneMarie Luijendijk and William E. Klingshirn

Sortilege—the making of decisions by casting lots—was widely practiced in the Mediterranean world during the period known as late antiquity, between the third and eighth centuries CE. In My Lots are in Thy Hands: Sortilege and its Practitioners in Late Antiquity, AnneMarie Luijendijk and William Klingshirn have collected fourteen essays that examine late antique lot divination, especially but not exclusively through texts preserved in Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Syriac. Employing the overlapping perspectives of religious studies, classics, anthropology, economics, and history, contributors study a variety of topics, including the hermeneutics and operations of divinatory texts, the importance of diviners and their instruments, and the place of faith and doubt in the search for hidden order in a seemingly random world.

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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.

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Bogdan Gabriel Bucur

Scripture Re-envisioned discusses the christological exegesis of biblical theophanies and argues its crucial importance for the appropriation of the Hebrew Bible as the Christian Old Testament. The Emmaus episode in Luke 24 and its history of interpretation serve as the methodological and hermeneutical prolegomenon to the early Christian exegesis of theophanies. Subsequent chapters discuss the reception history of Genesis 18; Exodus 3 and 33; Psalm 98/99 and 131/132; Isaiah 6; Habakkuk 3:2 (LXX); Daniel 3 and 7. Bucur shows that the earliest, most widespread and enduring reading of these biblical texts, namely their interpretation as "christophanies"— manifestations of the Logos-to-be-incarnate—constitutes a robust and versatile exegetical tradition, which lent itself to doctrinal reflection, apologetics, polemics, liturgical anamnesis and doxology

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Nathan Witkamp

In Tradition and Innovation, Nathan Witkamp convincingly argues that Narsai of Nisibis’ (d. ca. 503) baptismal rite and mystagogy, as portrayed in his Liturgical Homilies 21-22, are much less dependent on Theodore of Mopsuestia (ca. 350-ca. 428) than scholars have previously supposed. Narsai’s baptismal rite turns out to represent a particular East Syrian liturgical tradition, independent of Theodore. In his mystagogy, Narsai uses Theodore’s Baptismal Homilies 1-3 as just one source among others to create the artwork he desires. This detailed comparative study contributes to our understanding of rite and mystagogy in Theodore and Narsai within the broader early Syrian context, as well as to the reception of Theodore by Narsai and the East Syrian Church.

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.