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Prayer in the Ancient World (PAW) is an innovative resource on prayer in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean. The over 350 entries in PAW showcase a robust selection of the range of different types of prayers attested from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Anatolia, the Levant, early Judaism and Christianity, Greece, Rome, Arabia, and Iran, enhanced by critical commentary.
The project illustrates the variety of ways human beings have sought to communicate with or influence beings with extraordinary superhuman power for millennia. By including diverse examples such as vows and oaths, blessings, curses, incantations, graffiti, iconography, and more, PAW casts a wide net. In so doing, PAW privileges no particular tradition or conception of how to interact with the divine; for example, the project refuses to perpetuate a value distinction between “prayer,” “magic,” and “cursing.”

Detailed overviews introduce each area and address key issues such as language and terminology, geographical distribution, materiality, orality, phenomenology of prayer, prayer and magic, blessings and curses, and ritual settings and ritual actors. In order to be as comprehensive as practically possible, the volume includes a representative prayer of every attested type from each tradition.

Individual entries include a wealth of information. Each begins with a list of essential details, including the source, region, date, occasion, type and function, performers, and materiality of the prayer. Next, after a concise summary and a brief synopsis of the main textual witnesses, a formal description calls attention to the exemplar’s literary and stylistic features, rhetorical structure, important motifs, and terminology. The occasions when the prayer was used and its function are analyzed, followed by a discussion of how this exemplar fits within the range of variation of this type of prayer practice, both synchronically and diachronically. Important features of the prayer relevant for cross-cultural comparison are foregrounded in the subsequent section. Following an up-to-date translation, a concise yet detailed commentary provides explanations necessary for understanding the prayer and its function. Finally, each entry concludes with a bibliography of essential primary and secondary resources for further study.
This book focuses on Irenaeus as key to the early Christian appropriation of divine simplicity as a philosophical principle, since he is the first Christian source to explain his usage in relation to God. Beyond providing limits for what a simple God can and cannot mean, he also applies this principle to God’s activity (i.e. creating), and to God’s names and powers. There is a growing interest in the early Christian appropriation of divine simplicity: Simons' study is timely as the first book to focus exclusively on the earliest explanation and application.
Eastern Christian Texts (ECT) is dedicated to the publication of new translated critical editions – or of translations of existing editions –, accompanied by studies and commentaries, of significant works that expressed the intellectual and religious life of Eastern Christian communities from the 1st to the 21st century making them accessible to scholars, students, and the general public.
Essays on the Comparative Study of Jewish and Christian Parables
The Power of Parables documents the surprising ways in which Jewish and Christian parables bridge religion with daily life. This 2019 conference volume rediscovers the original power of parables to shock and affect their audience, which has since been reduced by centuries of preaching and repetition. Not only do parables enhance the perspective on Scripture or the kingdom of heaven, they also change the sensory regime of the audience in perceiving the outer world. The theological differences in their applications appear secondary in view of their powerful rhetoric and suggest a shared genre.
The Embodied, Sensory Qualities of Participation in the I Am Sayings
Recent scholarship focused on the role of embodiment within cognition and communication reminds us that part of how we “know” is through our physical senses. We only know the softness of a kitten by touching its fur, or the tastiness of bread by eating. How might this influence our understanding of biblical texts, such as Jesus’s claim, “I am the bread of life,” and the invitation to eat? This study explores the I am sayings of John’s Gospel, their sensory elements providing an imaginative entry into the narrative and contributing tangible value to the participatory theology of the Fourth Gospel.
How do intellectual traditions interact? This is the fundamental question driving this book, which explores a case study set in the early Islamicate world: the Treatise on Divine Unity According to the Doctrine of the Christians by the Christian-Arabic theologian and philosopher Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī (d. 974). The book attempts to contextualise the treatise and its intellectual environment by exploring the interplay between philosophy, Christian theology and Islam. This volume includes a revised Arabic text of Samir’s 2015 edition, collated with the manuscript Tehran, Madrasa-yi Marwī 19, recently discovered by prof. Robert Wisnovsky.