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Volume Editors: Sergey Minov and Flavia Ruani
Chapters gathered in Syriac Hagiography: Texts and Beyond explore a wide range of Syriac hagiographical works, while following two complementary methodological approaches, i.e. literary and cultic, or formal and functional. Grouped into three main sections, these contributions reflect three interrelated ways in which we can read Syriac hagiography and further grasp its characteristics: “Texts as Literature” seeks to unfold the mechanisms of their literary composition; “Saints Textualized” offers a different perspective on the role played by hagiographical texts in the invention and/or maintenance of the cult of a particular saint or group of saints; “Beyond the Texts” presents cases in which the historical reality behind the nexus of hagiographical texts and veneration of saints can be observed in greater details.
A Contextual Analysis of the Pre-baptismal Sermons attributed to Quodvultdeus of Carthage
Author: David Vopřada
In Quodvultdeus: a Bishop Forming Christians in Vandal Africa, David Vopřada presents the pre-baptismal catecheses of the fifth-century bishop of Carthage, delivered to the new believers in extremely difficult period of barbaric incursions. Quodvultdeus is generally not appraised as an original philosopher or theologian as his master Augustine was, in this book his qualities of a bishop who was entrusted with the care of his flock come forward. Making interdisciplinary use of the ancient and ecclesiastical history, philosophy, theology, archaeology, exegesis, liturgy science, homiletics, and rhetorics, the book offers a new and most innovative contribution to the life, work, and theology of Quodvultdeus.
Basil and Origen on Genesis 1 and Cosmology
Author: Adam Rasmussen
In Genesis and Cosmos Adam Rasmussen examines how Basil and Origen addressed scientific problems in their interpretations of Genesis 1. For the first time, he offers an in-depth analysis of Basil’s thinking on three problems in Scripture-and-science: the nature of matter, the super-heavenly water, and astrology. Both theologians worked from the same fundamental perspective that science is the “servant” of Christianity, useful yet subordinate. Rasmussen convincingly shows how Basil used Origen’s writings to construct his own solutions. Only on the question of the water does Basil break with Origen, who allegorized the water. Rasmussen demonstrates how they sought to integrate science and Scripture and thus remain instructive for those engaged in the dialogue between religion and science today.
Author: 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.
From Jesus to His First Followers examines to what extent early Christian groups were in continuity or discontinuity with respect to Jesus. Adriana Destro and Mauro Pesce concentrate on the transformation of religious practices. Their anthropological-historical analysis focuses on the relations between discipleship and households, on the models of contact with the supernatural world, and on cohabitation among distinct religious groups. The book highlights how Matthew uses non-Jewish instruments of legitimation, John reformulates religious experiences through symbolized domestic slavery, Paul adopts a religious practice diffused in Roman-Hellenistic environments. The book reconstructs the map of early Christian groups in the Land of Israel and explains their divergences on the basis of an original theory of the local origin of Gospels’ information.
Studien zum Glaubensabfall in altkirchlicher Theologie, Disziplin und Pastoral (4.-7. Jahrhundert n. Chr.)
In diesem Band untersucht Christian Hornung den Glaubensabfall im spätantiken Christentum. Im Anschluss an eine umfangreiche Hinführung, in der die Apostasie in der nichtchristlichen Umwelt behandelt wird, nähert er sich dem Thema unter drei Perspektiven: Theologie, Disziplin und Pastoral. Analysiert werden theologische Erklärungsmodelle des Phänomens bei kirchlichen Autoren, seine disziplinäre Einordnung im spätantiken (Kirchen-)Recht sowie der konkrete Umgang mit Apostaten in städtischen Gemeinden.
Im Gegensatz zur bisherigen altertumswissenschaftlichen Forschung kann Hornung aufzeigen, dass die Apostasie bis weit in nachkonstantinische Zeit eine grundlegende Anfrage an das sich etablierende Christentum bleibt. Die Anlage der Arbeit erlaubt zudem neue Einblicke in das Verhältnis von altkirchlichem Recht und Pastoral.

In this volume, Christian Hornung examines the abandonment of faith in the Christianity of Late Antiquity. After an extensive introduction dealing with apostasy in the non-Christian world he approaches the subject from three perspectives: theology, church discipline and pastoral care. Hornung analyses the theological explanatory models of different ecclesiastical writers concerning apostasy, early (Canon) Law and concrete examples of apostates in urban parishes.
In contrast with prior classical and patristic scholarship, he points out that apostasy remains a fundamental problem for Christianity in the time after Constantine the Great. Furthermore, the special composition of Hornung’s work delivers new insights into the relationship between early Canon Law and pastoral care.
The studies collected in Preaching after Easter examine the festal history and homiletics of Mid-Pentecost, Ascension, and Pentecost in the late antique Mediterranean world. Articles on individual sermons or the work of individual preachers such as John Chrysostom, Augustine of Hippo, Peter Chrysologus, Leo the Great, and Severus of Antioch exhibit the richness of late antique festal preaching. Questions of authenticity, heresiology, and theological, exegetical, or liturgical history are addressed with methodological rigor. Complementary contributions that deal with ancient Jewish-Christian dialogue, art-historical reception, and contemporary liturgical theology illustrate the wide ramifications of ancient Christian festal practice. Students and scholars of these feasts and the interpretive traditions devoted to them will find this volume to be an indispensable source of information and analysis.
Twelve leading scholars have collaborated on this unique volume, bringing their biblical and patristic expertise together to show how the first followers of Jesus used their own canonical scriptures to address concerns central to life in the Roman Empire. Sacred Scripture and Secular Struggles offers an overview of how early Christians approached and appropriated biblical texts in addressing wider societal issues of imperial power, slavery, the use of wealth, suicide and other fundamental issues brought about by the convergence of empire and ecclesia.

East and West in the Roman Empire of the Fourth Century examines the (dis)unity of the Roman Empire in the fourth century from different angles, in order to offer a broad perspective on the topic and avoid an overvaluation of the political division of the empire in 395.
After a methodological key-paper on the concepts of unity, the other contributors elaborate on these notions from various geo-political perspectives: the role of the army and taxation, geographical perspectives, the unity of the Church and the perception of the divisio regni of 364. Four case-studies follow, illuminating the role of concordia apostolorum, antique sports, eunuchs and the poet Prudentius on the late antique view of the Empire. Despite developments to the contrary, it appears that the Roman Empire remained (to be viewed as) a unity in all strata of society.
Gregory, bishop of Tours (573-594), was among the most prolific writers of his age and uniquely managed to cover the genres of history, hagiography, and ecclesiastical instruction. He not only wrote about events (of the secular, spiritual, and even natural variety) but about himself as an actor and witness. Though his work (especially the Histories) has been recycled and studied for centuries, our grasp of an even basic understanding of it, never mind Gregory’s significance in the history of the late antique West, has hardly yet attained a definitive perspective.
A Companion to Gregory of Tours brings together fourteen scholars who provide an expert guide to interpreting his works, his period, and his legacy in religious and historical studies.

Contributors are: Pascale Bourgain, Roger Collins, John J. Contreni, Stefan Esders, Martin Heinzelmann, Yitzhak Hen, John K. Kitchen, Simon Loseby, Alexander Callander Murray, Patrick Périn, Joachim Pizarro, Helmut Reimitz, Michael Roberts, Richard Shaw.