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Barbarian or Greek?

The Charge of Barbarism and Early Christian Apologetics

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Stamenka Antonova

In her book Barbarian or Greek?: The Charge of Barbarism and Early Christian Apologetics, Stamenka Antonova examines different aspects of the charge of barbarism in the Greek and Latin Christian apologetic texts (2-4th centuries) and the various responses to it by the early Christians. The author demonstrates that the charge of barbarism encompasses a broad range of meanings, such as low social class, inadequate education, immorality, criminal activity, political treason, as well as foreign ethnicity and language. In addition to contextualizing the charge of barbarism in ancient rhetorical practices, the author also applies literary criticism and post-colonial theory to shed light on the concept of the barbarian as an ideological-rhetorical tool for othering, marginalization and persecution in the Roman Empire.

John of Damascus and Islam

Christian Heresiology and the Intellectual Background to Earliest Christian-Muslim Relations

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Peter Schadler

How did Islam come to be considered a Christian heresy? In this book, Peter Schadler outlines the intellectual background of the Christian Near East that led John, a Christian serving in the court of the caliph in Damascus, to categorize Islam as a heresy. Schadler shows that different uses of the term heresy persisted among Christians, and then demonstrates that John’s assessment of the beliefs and practices of Muslims has been mistakenly dismissed on assumptions he was highly biased. The practices and beliefs John ascribes to Islam have analogues in the Islamic tradition, proving that John may well represent an accurate picture of Islam as he knew it in the seventh and eighth centuries in Syria and Palestine.

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Edited by Amelia Robertson Brown and Bronwen Neil

This collection on Byzantine culture in translation, edited by Amelia Brown and Bronwen Neil, examines the practices and theories of translation inside the Byzantine empire and beyond its horizons to the east, north and west. The time span is from Late Antiquity to the present day. Translations studied include hagiography, history, philosophy, poetry, architecture and science, between Greek, Latin, Arabic and other languages. These chapters build upon presentations given at the 18th Biennial Conference of the Australian Association for Byzantine Studies, convened by the editors at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia on 28-30 November 2014.

Contributors include: Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides, Amelia Brown, Penelope Buckley, John Burke, Michael Champion, John Duffy, Yvette Hunt, Maria Mavroudi, Ann Moffatt, Bronwen Neil, Roger Scott, Michael Edward Stewart, Rene Van Meeuwen, Alfred Vincent, and Nigel Westbrook.

From Jesus to his First Followers: Continuity and Discontinuity

Anthropological and Historical Perspectives

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Adriana Destro and Mauro Pesce

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.