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Author: Einar Thomassen
This book is a comprehensive study of “Valentinianism,” the most important Gnostic Christian movement in Antiquity. It is the first attempt to make full use of the Valentinian documents from Nag Hammadi as well as the reports of the Church Fathers.
The book discusses the difference between the Eastern and the Western branches of Valentinianism, and argues that individual sources must always be understood in the context of the historical development of Valentinian doctrines. It also analyses the ideas about the incarnation, protological theories, and initiation practice, as well as the dynamic relationship between these building-blocks of Valentinian doctrine. A final chapter studies anew the doctrine of Valentinus himself and outlines the history of the movement.
The book’s usefulness lies in its attempt to bring together for the first time all the sources so as to construct a coherent picture of Valentinian Christianity.
The Encyclopedia of Religious and Philosophical Writings in Late Antiquity offers easily accessible introductions to the content and historical setting of the main writings of Greco-Roman paganism, early Judaism, and formative Christianity from the period of Alexander the Great to Mohammed. Examining over seven hundred ancient texts, the Encyclopedia provides for each document details of authorship and provenance, a statement of the text’s content and place within its religious tradition, a listing of editions and commentaries, and a bibliography of the pertinent scholarly literature. The Encyclopedia of Religious and Philosophical Writings in Late Antiquity is an unparalleled resource both for general readers and for scholars of ancient religion and philosophy.

Originally published in hardcover.
A Codicological Study of Iranian and Turkic Illuminated Book Fragments from 8th-11th Century East Central Asia
Mediaeval Manichean Book Art focuses on a corpus of c. one hundred fragments of exquisitely illuminated manuscripts that were produced under the patronage of the Turkic-speaking Uygurs in the Turfan region of East Central Asia between the 8th and 11th centuries CE, and used in service of the local Manichaean church. By applying a codicological approach to the analysis of these sources, this study casts light onto a lost episode of Central Asian art history and religious book culture.
Each of the five chapters in this book accomplishes a well-defined goal. The first justifies the formation of the corpus. The second examines its dating on the basis of scientific and historical evidence. Chapter three assesses the artistry of their bookmakers, scribes, and illuminators. The fourth documents the patterns of page layout preserved on the fragments. The final chapter analyses the contextual relationship of their painted and written contents.
Mediaeval Manichaean Book Art represents a pioneer study in its subject, research methodology, and illustrations. It extracts codicological and art historical data from torn remains of lavishly decorated Middle-Persian, Sogdian, and Uygur language manuscripts in codex, scroll, and “palm-leaf” formats. Through detailed analyses and carefully argued interpretations aided by precise computer drawings, the author introduces an important group of primary sources for future comparative research in Central Asian art, mediaeval book illumination, and Manichaean studies.
Major Problems and Minor Issues
Author: Abraham Malamat
The history of Israel of the Bible remains one of the most hotly contested issues in scholarship of the Hebrew Bible today. One of the clearest voices in the debate is that of Abraham Malamat. In the pages Malamat distills years of writing on the history of Israel from its beginnings up to the destruction of the First Temple of Jerusalem (586 B.C.E.). Malamat divides his study into the following sections: (1) The Dawn of Israel; (2) Forming a Nation; (3) The Rise of the Davidic Dynasty; (4) Twilight of Judah and the Destruction of the First Temple; and (5) Historical Episodes in the Former Prophets and the Prophetical Books. All those interested in the emergence of Israel as a people and the rise of the story of Israel will find this an essential volume.

This publication has also been published in hardback, please click here for details.
This collection of essays grew out of the symposium, “Art and Politics in South Asia,” held at Boston College on October 5, 2002 and sponsored by the Norma Jean Calderwood Professorship in Islamic and Asian Art. Art, Religion, and Politics in South Asia connects the arts of the past to the problems of the present and to matters of increasing relevance in today’s world. This special issue includes essays by Catherine B. Asher, Phillip B. Wagoner, and Frederick M. Asher.

Art, Religion and Politics in South Asia was originally published as issue 1 of Volume 8 (2004) of Brill's journal Religion and the Arts. For more details on this journal, please click here.
Author: Claudia Setzer
Studies in the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism
Author: VanderKam
Scholars who actually shape the fields they work in remain few and far between. University of Notre Dame professor James VanderKam, renowned for his writings on the Dead Sea Scrolls, is one of them. This volume represents the best of Professor VanderKam’s non-Qumran articles covering Second Temple Judaism, Hebrew Bible, apocalypticism, and key essays on 1 Enoch and Jubilees. Researchers and students will welcome having all of these readily available. Anyone working in these areas will appreciate VanderKam’s contributions to discussions concerning calendars and festivals, the high priesthood, and prophecy and apocalyptic in the ancient Near East. A new essay on the development of Scripture’s canon rounds out this essential collection.

This publication has also been published in hardback, please click here for details.
Early Rabbinic Reports about Christianity and Gnosticism
Author: Segal
In this study of the rabbinic heretics who believed in Two Powers in Heaven, Alan Segal explores some relationships between rabbinic Judaism, Merkabah mysticism, and early Christianity. Two Powers in Heaven was a very early category of heresy. It was one of the basic categories by which the rabbis perceived the new phenomenon of Christianity and one of the central issues over which Judaism and Christianity separated. Segal reconstructs the development of the heresy through prudent dating of the stages of the rabbinic traditions. The basic heresy involved interpreting scripture to say that a principal angelic or hypostatic manifestation in heaven was equivalent to God. The earliest heretics believed in two complementary powers in heaven, while later heretics believed in two opposing powers in heaven. Segal stresses the importance of perceiving the relevance of rabbinic material for solving traditional problems of New Testament and gnostic scholarship, and at the same time maintains the necessity of reading those literatures for dating rabbinic material.

Please note that Two Powers in Heaven was previously published by Brill in hardback, ISBN 90 04 05453 7 (no longer available).
Author: Sean Freyne
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Galilee has long been a subject of fascination and scholarly inquiry because of its association with the formative periods of both Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity. Sean Freyne undertakes the difficult but essential task of bringing together literary and archaeological evidence to reconstruct the geographic, social, and religious world of Galilee in Hellenistic and Roman times. Both literary and archaeological evidence are essential for the study of early Judaism and the quest for the historical Jesus. Freyne fruitfully examines both areas of inquiry and makes substantial contributions to ongoing scholarly debates.
The Gospel Tradition in the Context of Ancient Oral History
Author: Samuel Byrskog
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Samuel Byrskog employs models from the interdisciplinary field of oral history as presented by Paul Thompson, coupled with insights from cultural anthropology, in order to examine the interaction between the present and the past as the gospel tradition evolved. The ancient Greek and Roman historians, with their use of eyewitness testimony as sources to the past and as central elements in interpretive and narrativizing processes of the present, serve as the basis for unraveling culture-specific patterns of oral history, and thus for conceptualizing similar aspects during the development of the gospel tradition. Eyewitness testimonies played a central but varying role in early Christianity. They were transmitted in the matrix of discipleship, where verbal and behavioral traditions were passed on through acts of mimesis. The folkloristic notion of re-oralization explains how oral accounts regularly interacted with written texts, indicating a vivid and engaged relationship to the past as well as the semantic significance of oral communication and performance. Factual truth was essential but inseparable from interpreted truth during the course of investigation, transmission, and composition. The gospel tradition developed through a subtle interaction between the unique historic events of the past and the various circumstances of the present. The narrative and historical dimensions of a text cannot be separated, because the semantic codes of a text are often located in the culture and not in the text itself. The gospels are therefore the synthesis of history and story, intertwining the horizons of the past and of the present in their own right.