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Volume Editors: Timo Nisula, Anni Maria Laato, and Pablo Irizar
Religious Polemics and Encounters in Late Antiquity: Boundaries, Conversions, and Persuasion, explores the intricate identity formation and negotiations of early encounters of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). It explores the ever-pressing challenges arising from polemical inter-religious encounters by analyzing the dynamics of apologetic debate, the negotiation and formation of boundaries of belonging, and the argumentative thrust for persuasion and conversion, as well as the outcomes of these various encounters, including the articulation of novel ideas. The Late Antique authors studied in the present volume represent a variety of voices from North Africa, passing through Rome, to Palestine. Together, these voices of the past offer invaluable insight to shape the present times, in hope for a better future.
Author: Attila Bodor
In The Theological Profile of the Peshitta of Isaiah, Attila Bodor explores theological elements in the Peshitta version of Isaiah. Through a close study of its interpretative renderings, the author shows that this lesser-known ancient version is not only an important witness to textual history and a repository of early exegetical traditions, but it also testifies to the beliefs of the early Syriac-speaking community from which the Peshitta emerged. In the monograph, sixty-three Peshitta divergences from the Hebrew are collected and analyzed from the book of Isaiah in order to illustrate the theological implications and the impact of these divergent renderings on the interpretation and reception of the major Isaianic themes that treat God, the Messiah, and the people of God.
Author: Daniel Nodes
The sermons here published for the first time are attributed to an otherwise unknown friar referred to simply as Frater Petrus. The collection provides evidence of actual preaching in a normal setting from fourteenth-century Germany, between the beginnings of the Franciscan order and the Observant reform movement, not by a major light of the order, but a regular member who may have held status as an intermediate-level teacher, to judge by the care with which the manuscripts were prepared. Theologically competent and gracefully presented in the conventional sermon style of the period, the collection, edited and translated by Daniel Nodes, offers scholars and students a reliable new resource in an area of sermon studies that is still in short supply.

"This volume of sixty-three sermons will shed valuable light on preaching method and style of a Franciscan friar in a normal setting of the pre-Observant fourteenth century. Daniel Nodes’s careful Latin edition with clear English translation enables readers to penetrate more deeply into biblical interpretation and instruction during the High Middle Ages."
Nigel F. Palmer, Emeritus Professor of Medieval German, St Edmund Hall, Oxford

"In the later Middle Ages, the friars created a system of mass communication based on collections of Latin model sermons which could be turned into the vernacular for lay congregations anywhere. Examples of these model sermons in critical editions are rare and critical editions accompanied by translations to which a good student can be directed are almost non-existent. Dan Nodes earns the gratitude of scholars and teachers of medieval religious history by filling this glaring gap."
D. L. d’Avray, Emeritus Professor of History, UCL
Reading the Arabic Bible in the Tafsīrs of Ibn Barraǧān and al-Biqāʿī
In Interpreting the Qurʾān with the Bible, R. Michael McCoy III brings together two lesser known yet accomplished commentators on the Qurʾān and the Bible: the muʿtabir Abū al-Ḥakam ʿAbd al-Salām b. al-Išbīlī (d. 536/1141), referred to as Ibn Barraǧān, and qāriʾ al-qurrāʾ Ibrāhīm b. ʿUmar b. Ḥasan al-Biqāʿī (d. 885/1480). In this comparative study, comprised of manuscript analysis and theological exegesis, a robust hermeneutic emerges that shows how Ibn Barraǧān’s method of naẓm al-qurʾān and al-Biqāʿī’s theory of ʿilm munāsabāt al-qurʾān motivates their reading and interpretation of the Arabic Bible. The similarities in their quranic hermeneutics and approach to the biblical text are astounding as each author crossed established boundaries and pushed the acceptable limits of handling the Bible in their day.
Linguistic Signs, the Process of Signification, and the Hermeneutics of Discursive Resistance
Author: Timo Eskola
Focusing on linguistic signs, New Testament Semiotics navigates through different realist and nominalist traditions. From this perspective, Saussure’s and Peirce’s traditions exhibit similarities. Questioning Derrida’s and Eco’s semiotics based on their misuse of Peirce’s innovations, Dr. Privatdozent Timo Eskola rehabilitates Benveniste and Ricoeur. A sign is about conditions and functions. Sign as a role is a manifestation of participation. Serving as a sign entails participation in a web of relations, participation in a network of meanings, and adoption of a set of rules. We should focus on sentences and networks, not primitive reference or binary oppositions. Enunciations are postulations producing evanescent meanings. Finally, the study suggests a linguistic approach to metatheology that is based on hermeneutics of discursive resistance.
Volume Editor: Deborah Beck
This edited volume, arising from the 2019 conference “Orality and Literacy: Repetition,” explores some of the many forms and uses of repetition, in poetry, philosophy, and inscriptions, from Homeric epic through the Latin novel and the Gospels to reception in the twentieth century. All human communication depends on repeating signs that are comprehensible to the speaker and the addressee. Yet “repetition” takes many specific forms, in different performance contexts, time periods, and literary genres. Repetition may operate within one utterance, or across several times, places, and artists. The relationship between two repeated utterances cannot always be determined with certainty. But repetition offers exciting ways to understand the communicative process in oral and literate contexts across the ancient world.
Decoding the Language of Metaphor in the Book of Proverbs
Proverbs is a poetic book full of images and metaphors, many of which are often obscure and enigmatic. In this volume, Rotasperti offers a contribution to the understanding of figurative language in Proverbs by looking at the grammatical and social contexts in which many of the book’s metaphors appear. The brief introduction explains the process and methodological assumptions used for identifying metaphors. The study then continues with a lexical review of four semantic categories: the body, urban fabric, nature and animals. The result of this survey is a deep analysis of several key metaphors that looks at their composition, structure, and interpretation.