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Zand ī Fragard ī Jud-Dēw-Dād (A Commentary on the Chapters of the Widēwdād)
Author: Mahnaz Moazami
Laws of Ritual Purity: Zand ī Fragard ī Jud-Dēw-Dād (A Commentary on the Chapters of the Widēwdād) describes the various ways in which Zoroastrian authorities in the fifth-sixth centuries CE reinterpreted the purity laws of their community. Its redactor(s), conversant with the notions and practices of purity and impurity as developed by their predecessors, attempt(s) to determine the parameters of the various categories of pollution, the minimum measures of polluted substances, and the effect of the interaction of pollution with other substances that are important to humans. It is therefore in essence a technical legal corpus designed to provide a comprehensive picture of a central aspect of Zoroastrian ritual life: the extent of one’s liability contracting pollution and how atonement/purification can be achieved.
This volume, the thirty-fifth year of published proceedings, contains five papers and commentaries presented to the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy during the academic year 2018-19. Paper topics include: evidence for Simplicius as author of the Commentary on the De Anima; Aristotle and Humean theory of motivation, ‘besires’ and desires; moderation in NE 3,10-12 as novel in Aristotle, differing greatly from his contemporaries, especially Plato’s Charmides; Platonic memory and oblivion, mythic sources and cultural influence; Aristotle’s final causality in recovering nature from inanimate mechanism. The commentators take up the themes of these papers, in some instances developing and building on the main argument, while in others offering direct challenges to the principal author’s thesis.
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.
Volume Editors: Nicole Belayche and Francesco Massa
Mystery Cults in Visual Representation in Graeco-Roman Antiquity aims to fill a gap in the study of mystery cults in Graeco-Roman Antiquity by focusing on images for investigating their ritual praxis. Nicole Belayche and Francesco Massa have gathered experts on visual language in order to illuminate cultic rituals renowned for both their “mysteries” and their images. This book tackles three interrelated questions. Focusing on the cult of Dionysus, it analyses whether, and how, images are used to depict mystery cults. The relationship between historiography and images of mystery cults is considered with a focus on the Mithraic and Isiac cults. Finally, turning to the cults of Dionysus and the Mother of the Gods, this work shows how depictions of specific cultic objects succeed in expressing mystery cults.
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.
Author: I. Tzvi Abusch
In this volume, I. Tzvi Abusch presents studies written over a span of forty years prior to his retirement from Brandeis University in 2019. They reflect several themes that he has pursued in addition to his work on witchcraft literature and the Epic of Gilgamesh. Part 1 includes general articles on Mesopotamian magic, religion, and mythology, followed by a set of articles on Akkadian prayers, especially šuillas, focusing on exegetical and linguistic (synchronic) studies and on diachronic analyses. Part 2 contains a series of literary studies of Mesopotamian and biblical classics. Part 3 is devoted to comparative studies of terms and phenomena. Part 4 examines legal texts.

The Harvard Semitic Studies series publishes volumes from the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East. Other series offered by Brill that publish volumes from the Museum include Studies in the Archaeology and History of the Levant and Harvard Semitic Monographs, https://hmane.harvard.edu/publications.
Volume Editors: René Brouwer and Emmanuele Vimercati
This volume, edited by René Brouwer and Emmanuele Vimercati, deals with the debate about fate, providence and free will in the early Imperial age. This debate is rekindled in the 1st century CE during emperor Augustus’ rule and ends in the 3rd century CE with Plotinus and Origen, when the different positions in the debate were more or less fully developed. The book aims to show how in this period the notions of fate, providence and freedom were developed and debated, not only within and between the main philosophical schools, that is Stoicism, Aristotelianism, and Platonism, but also in the interaction with other, “religious” movements, here understood in the general sense of groups of people sharing beliefs in and worship of (a) superhuman controlling power(s), such as Gnosticism, Hermetism as well as Judaism and Christianity.
Providence, Dualism, and Will in Later Greek and Early Christian Philosophy
Author: Dylan M. Burns
Is God involved? Why do bad things happen to good people? What is up to us? These questions were explored in Mediterranean antiquity with reference to ‘providence’ ( pronoia). In Did God Care? Dylan Burns offers the first comprehensive survey of providence in ancient philosophy that brings together the most important Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Syriac sources, from Plato to Plotinus and the Gnostics.

Burns demonstrates how the philosophical problems encompassed by providence transformed in the first centuries CE, yielding influential notions about divine care, evil, creation, omniscience, fate, and free will that remain with us today. These transformations were not independent developments of ‘Pagan philosophy’ and ‘Christian theology,’ but include fruits of mutually influential engagement between Hellenic and Christian philosophers.
Terror and Intrigue
In Gnostic Countercultures, fourteen scholars investigate countercultural aspects associated with the gnostic which is broadly conceived with reference to the claim to have special knowledge of the divine, which either transcends or transgresses conventional religious knowledge. The papers explore the concept of the gnostic in Western culture from the ancient world to the modern New Age. Contributors trace the emergence, persistence, and disappearance of gnostic religious currents that are perceived to be countercultural, inverted, transgressive and/or subversive in their relationship to conventional religions and their claims to knowledge. The essays represent a selection of the papers delivered at the international congress Gnostic Countercultures: Terror and Intrigue convened at Rice University, March 26-28, 2015. The essays were originally published in Gnosis 1.1-2 (2016) and are available for the first time under separate cover.
In The Cave 3 Copper Scroll: A Symbolic Journey, Jesper Høgenhavn presents a reading of the Copper Scroll as a literary text. For more than 60 years, scholars have debated whether or not the treasures recorded here reflect historical realities. This study argues that the dichotomy between “facts” and “fiction” is inadequate for a proper understanding of the Copper Scroll. The document was designed to convey specific images to its readers, thus staying true to the format of an instruction for retrieving hidden treasures. Yet, the evoked landscape is dense with symbolical associations, and the journey through it reflects deliberate narrative patterns. The scroll was written against the background of the social and political turmoil of Jewish Palestine in the 1st century CE, and reflects contemporary concerns and interests.