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Talmudic Transgressions

Engaging the Work of Daniel Boyarin

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Edited by Charlotte Fonrobert, Ishay Rosen-Zvi, Aharon Shemesh and Moulie Vidas

Talmudic Transgressions is a collection of essays on rabbinic literature and related fields in response to the boundary-pushing scholarship of Daniel Boyarin. This work is an attempt to transgress boundaries in various ways, since boundaries differentiate social identities, literary genres, legal practices, or diasporas and homelands. These essays locate the transgressive not outside the classical traditions but in these traditions themselves, having learned from Boyarin that it is often within the tradition and in its terms that we can find challenges to accepted notions of knowledge, text, and ethnic or gender identity. The sections of this volume attempt to mirror this diverse set of topics.


Contributors include Julia Watts Belser, Jonathan Boyarin, Shamma Boyarin, Virginia Burrus, Sergey Dolgopolski, Charlotte E. Fonrobert, Simon Goldhill, Erich S. Gruen, Galit Hasan-Rokem, Christine Hayes, Adi Ophir, James Redfield, Elchanan Reiner, Ishay Rosen-Zvi, Lena Salaymeh, Zvi Septimus, Aharon Shemesh, Dina Stein, Eliyahu Stern, Moulie Vidas, Barry Scott Wimpfheimer, Elliot R. Wolfson, Azzan Yadin-Israel, Israel Yuval, and Froma Zeitlin.

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Edited by Dan Batovici and Kristin de Troyer

Reception history has emerged over the last decades as a rapidly growing domain of research, entertaining a notable methodological diversity. Authoritative Texts and Reception History samples that diversity, offering a collection of essay that discuss various reception-historical issues, from a plurality of perspectives, across several fields: Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Pseudepigrapha and the Dead Sea Scrolls, New Testament, early and late-antique Christianity. While furthering specific discussions in their specific fields, the contributions included here—authored by both established and emerging scholars—illustrate just how wide the umbrella of ‘reception history’ can be, and the varied range of topics, concerns and approaches it can accommodate.

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Jacobus Kok

In New Perspectives on Healing, Restoration and Reconciliation in John, Jacobus (Kobus) Kok investigates the depth and applicability of Jesus’ healing narratives in John’s gospel. Against the background of an ancient group-oriented worldview, it goes beyond the impasse of most Western approaches to interpreting the Biblical healing narratives to date.

He argues that the concept of healing was understood in antiquity (as in some parts of Africa) in a much broader way than we tend to understand it today. He shows inter alia why the interaction between Jesus and the Samaritan woman could be interpreted as a healing narrative, illustrating the ancient interrelationship between healing, restoration and reconciliation.

New Aspects of Religion in Ancient Athens 

Honors, Authorities, Esthetics, and Society 

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Jon Mikalson

Jon D. Mikalson offers for classical and Hellenistic Athens a study of the terminology and contexts of praises of religious actions and artefacts and an investigation of the various authorities in religious activities. The terms of approbation apply to priests, priestesses, and lay individuals in various capacities as well as to sacrifices, dedications, and sanctuaries. From these a new esthetic of Greek religion emerges as well as a new social aspect of public religious practices. The authorities include oracles, traditional customs, laws, and decrees, and their hierarchy and interaction are described. The authority of the Ekklesia, Boule, administrative and military officials, priests, priestesses, and others is also delineated, and a new view of polis “control” of religion is put forward.

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Edited by Gabriella Gelardini and Harold Attridge

Scholars of Hebrews have repeatedly echoed the almost proverbial saying that the book appears to its reader as a "Melchizedekian being without genealogy". For such scholars the aphorism identified prominent traits of Hebrews, its enigma, its otherness, its marginality. Although Franz Overbeck might unintentionally have stimulated such correlations, they do not represent what his dictum originally meant. Writing during the high noon of historicism in 1880, Overbeck lamented a lack of historical context, one that he had deduced on the basis of flawed presuppositions of the ideological frameworks prevalent of his time. His assertion made an impact, and consequently Hebrews was not only "othered" within New Testament scholarship, its context was neglected and by some, even judged as irrelevant altogether. Understandably, the neglect created a deficit keenly felt by more recent scholarship, which has developed a particular interest in Hebrews’ contexts. Hebrews in Contexts, edited by Gabriella Gelardini and Harold W. Attridge, is an expression of this interest. It gathers authors who explore extensively on Hebrews’ relations to other early traditions and texts (Jewish, Hellenistic, and Roman) in order to map Hebrews’ historical, cultural, and religious identity in greater, and perhaps surprising detail.

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James Keith Elliott

Early Christians built on the stories of Jesus' and Mary’s birth and childhood. Their later accounts, many of them found nowadays among collections of non-canonical ('apocryphal') texts, are important and interesting. They give insights into the growth of Christian theology, especially concerning the role and status of Mary, and also the way in which the earliest stories were elaborated and interpreted in popular folk religion.
A range of the earliest accounts is presented here in fresh translations. This second edition contains some texts originally in a variety of different languages such as Armenian, Ethiopic, Coptic and Irish, not available at the time of the first edition. The texts are arranged in small units and synoptically, in order to permit readers to compare texts and to see the differences and similarities between them.
J.K. Elliott has selected and arranged the texts, and he provides introductory and concluding chapters. He also includes a full and helpful bibliography to benefit readers who may wish to pursue this comparative study more deeply.

Epiphanius’ Alogi and the Johannine Controversy 

A Reassessment of Early Ecclesial Opposition to the Johannine Corpus 

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Scott Manor

In this work T. Scott Manor provides a new perspective on a common view, known as the ‘Johannine Controversy’, which maintains that the early church once tried to jettison the Gospel and Apocalypse of John as heretical forgeries.
Primary evidence comes from Epiphanius of Salamis, who mentions a heretical group with such views, the Alogi. This along with with other evidence from sources including Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Origen, Eusebius, Photius, Dionysius bar Salibi, Ebed-Jesu and others has led to the conclusion that a certain Gaius of Rome led the Alogi in this anti-Johannine campaign. By carefully examining Epiphanius’ account in relation to these other sources, Manor arrives at very different conclusions that question whether any such controversy ever existed at all.

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Roald Dijkstra

The Apostles in Early Christian Art and Poetry presents the first in-depth analysis of the origins of the representation of the apostles (the twelve disciples and Paul) in verse and image in the late antique Greco-Roman world (250-400). Especially in the West, the apostles are omnipresent, in particular on sarcophagi and in Biblical and martyr poetry. They primarily function as witnesses of Christ’s stay on earth, but Peter and Paul are also popular saints of their own. Occasionally, the other apostles come to the fore as individual figures. Direct influence from art on poetry or vice versa appears to be difficult to trace, but principal developments of late antique society are reflected in the representation of the apostles in both media.

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Edited by Stanley E. Porter and Hughson T. Ong

The essays in The Origins of John’s Gospel, gathered by Stanley E. Porter and Hughson T. Ong, either survey or discuss in detail various areas and topics in Johannine scholarship, especially in the study of John’s Gospel. These include the authorship and dating, sources, and traditions of John’s Gospel, its structure and composition, the Johannine community, and Johannine anti-Judaism and the Son of Man sayings. Collectively, these essays offer important contributions to various areas and topics of research relating to the origins of John’s Gospel.

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Edited by David Vincent Meconi S.J.

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.