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This volume offers a comprehensive account of a Manichaean community in fourth-century Roman Egypt. The study analyses papyrological material from Kellis, a village in Egypt’s Dakhleh Oasis, and their implications for Manichaeism as a socio-religious movement.

Drawing on social network theory and engaging with current trends in the study of lived ancient religion, Teigen explores how lay families at Kellis cohered as a religious community. Whereas recent scholarship has seen the laity here as largely detached from distinctively Manichaean traditions, he argues that the papyri in fac reveal a community immersed in Manichaean ideas and practices. The book thereby shows how new religious identities were deeply entangled in everyday social life in late antiquity.
Author: Zeke Mazur
In The Platonizing Sethian Background of Plotinus’s Mysticism, Zeke Mazur offers a radical reconceptualization of Plotinus with reference to Gnostic thought and praxis.
A crucial element in the thought of the third-century CE philosopher Plotinus—his conception of mystical union with the One—cannot be understood solely within the conventional history of philosophy, or as the product of a unique, sui generis psychological propensity. This monograph demonstrates that Plotinus tacitly patterned his mystical ascent to the One on a type of visionary ascent ritual that is first attested in Gnostic sources. These sources include the Platonizing Sethian tractates Zostrianos (NHC VIII,1) and Allogenes (NHC XI,3) of which we have Coptic translations from Nag Hammadi and whose Greek Vorlagen were known to have been read in Plotinus’s school.
Volume Editors: Jérôme Moreau and Olivier Munnich
Religion et rationalité. Philon d’Alexandrie et sa postérité propose un nouveau regard sur les travaux de Philon d’Alexandrie : prenant appui sur les mots de Moïse aussi bien que sur des concepts philosophiques, il les associe dans son commentaire de l’Écriture pour créer une nouvelle manière de penser. Les dix études rassemblées dans ce volume apportent un nouvel éclairage sur cette méthode et son originalité. Elles mettent également en évidence la pérennité de cette démarche aussi bien dans le néo-platonisme que chez les Pères de l’Église et ou dans l’exégèse médiévale.

Religion et rationalité. Philon d’Alexandrie et sa postérité offers a new insight into the works of Philo of Alexandria. Relying on the words of Moses as well as on philosophical concepts, Philo combines these in his commentary of Scripture to create a new way of thinking. The ten studies collected in this volume shed new light on the originality of this method. They also highlight the way it was echoed by Neo-Platonists, the Church Fathers and even medieval exegetes.
Nonnus of Panopolis (5th c. AD), the most important Greek poet of Late Antiquity, is best known for his Dionysiaca, a grand epic that gathers together all myths associated with Dionysus, god of wine and mysteries. The poet also authored the Paraphrase of St. John’s Gospel which renders the Fourth Gospel into sophisticated hexameter verse. This volume, edited by Filip Doroszewski and Katarzyna Jażdżewska, brings together twenty-six essays by eminent scholars that discuss Nonnus’ cultural and literary background, the literary techniques and motifs used by the poet, as well as the composition of the Dionysiaca and the exegetical principles applied in the Paraphrase. As such, the book will significantly deepen our understanding of literary culture and religion in Late Antiquity.
New Perspectives on Tradition and Transformation
Volume Editors: Albert Geljon and Nienke Vos
Based on the paradigmatic shift in both liturgical and ritual studies, this multidisciplinary volume presents a collection of case studies on rituals in the early Christian world. After a methodological discussion of the new paradigm, it shows how emblematic Christian rituals were influenced by their Greco-Roman and Jewish contexts, undergoing multiple transformations, while themselves affecting developments both within and outside Christianity. Notably, parallel traditions in Judaism and Islam are included in the discussion, highlighting the importance of ongoing reception history. Focusing on the dynamic character of rituals, the new perspectives on ritual traditions pursued here relate to the expanding source material, both textual and material, as well as the development of recent interdisciplinary approaches, including the cognitive science of religion.
Volume Editor: Matthew V. Novenson
In Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, Matthew V. Novenson brings together thirteen state-of-the-art essays by leading scholars on the various ways ancient Jewish, Christian, and classical writers conceive of God, Christ, Wisdom, the demiurge, angels, foreign gods, and other divine beings. In particular, the book revisits the “early high Christology” debates of the 1990s, identifying the lasting contributions thereof as well as the lingering difficulties and new, emerging questions from the last thirty years of research. The essays in this book probe the much-touted but under-theorized distinctions between monotheism and polytheism, Judaism and Hellenism, Christianity and paganism. They show how what we call monotheism and Christology fit within the Greco-Roman world of which they are part.
Volume Editors: Christa Gray and James Corke-Webster
The Hagiographical Experiment: Developing Discourses of Sainthood throws fresh light on narratives about Christian holy men and women from Late Antiquity to Byzantium. Rather than focusing on the relationship between story and reality, it asks what literary choices authors made in depicting their heroes and heroines: how they positioned the narrator, how they responded to existing texts, how they utilised or transcended genre conventions for their own purposes, and how they sought to relate to their audiences. The literary focus of the chapters assembled here showcases the diversity of hagiographical texts written in Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Syriac, as well as pointing out the ongoing conversations that connect them. By asking these questions of this diverse group of texts, it illuminates the literary development of hagiography in the late antique, Byzantine, and medieval periods.
In 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.

In 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.
Archaeology of Spaces, Structures, and Objects
Religion in Ephesos Reconsidered provides a detailed overview of the current state of research on the most important Ephesian projects offering evidence for religious activity during the Roman period. Ranging from huge temple complexes to hand-held figurines, this book surveys a broad scope of materials. Careful reading of texts and inscriptions is combined with cutting-edge archaeological and architectural analysis to illustrate how the ancient people of Ephesos worshipped both the traditional deities and the new gods that came into their purview. Overall, the volume questions traditional understandings of material culture in Ephesos, and demonstrates that the views of the city and its inhabitants on religion were more complex and diverse than has been previously assumed.
The Succession Narrative as a Satire
Author: Virginia Miller
In A King and a Fool? The Succession Narrative as a Satire Virginia Miller applies a new version of Douglas Muecke’s taxonomy of irony to the Succession Narrative. She argues that the narrative in 2 Samuel and 1 Kings has the essential feature of satire, namely, a pervasive sense of pejoratively critical irony. By her account, King David is the object of ironic attack, and therefore, an object of condemnation. Given that the primary purpose of satire is reform, Miller claims that the purpose of the Succession Narrative is a call for reform in the leadership of Israel.