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The Philosophical Critique of Christianity in Late Antiquity and the Enlightenment
The present study, for the first time, provides a comparative analysis of the objections raised against Christianity by late antique pagan philosophers (esp. Celsus in Alethes logos, Porphyry in Contra Christianos, and Julian the Apostate in Contra Gali-laeos) and Enlightenment philosophers and freethinkers and examines the impact of pagan thinking on the critique of Christianity in the 16th to 18th centuries – in particular, on discussions concerning the authority of the Bible, biblical exegesis, the Christian concept of faith, religious coercion and the uniformity of faith, the belief in miracles, and the Christ-ian understanding of morality.
What does 'performance' mean in Christian culture? How is it connected to rituals, dramatic and visual arts, and the written word? Performing the Sacred: Christian Representation and the Arts explores both the meaning of re-presentation and the role of performance within the Christian tradition between arts and drama. The essays in this book demonstrate that the idea of performance was central to Christian theology and that—from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern era—it became a device through which people saw, prayed, preached, wrote, imagined, officiated rites, celebrated cults, and practiced devotions. Seen that performance is a habitus within Christianity, performing the sacred does not just mean representing it, but rather enacting it in a tangible, visible and involved way.
In a seminal study, Cur cantatur?, Anders Ekenberg examined Carolingian sources for explanations of why the liturgy was sung, rather than spoken. This multidisciplinary volume takes up Ekenberg’s question anew, investigating the interplay of New Testament writings, sacred spaces, biblical interpretation, and reception history of liturgical practices and traditions. Analyses of Greek, Latin, Coptic, Arabic, and Gǝʿǝz sources, as well as of archaeological and epigraphic evidence, illuminate an array of topics, including recent trends in liturgical studies; manuscript variants and liturgical praxis; Ignatius of Antioch’s choral metaphor; baptism in ancient Christian apocrypha; and the significance of late ancient altar veils.
The digital world pervades the everyday lives of most people, and online tools have become an essential part of academic research in many disciplines. This reality is true also for biblical studies and related disciplines, areas that work with complex literary traditions, multiple manuscript cultures, and many methodological approaches to the problems at the centre of our discussions. This book shines a light on multiple new and emerging approaches to big disciplinary questions in biblical studies and beyond by highlight projects that are using digital tools, crafting computer-assisted approaches, and re-thinking the resources fundamental to the history of research.
Classical Perspectives on Ascent in the Journey to God
Volume Editors: and
How does one grow holy in such times? This question drove the early Christian imagination no less than it does today. Patristic Spirituality: Classical Perspectives on Ascent to the Divine features numerous studies offering an “itinerary” for early Christian believers wishing to enter into the divine presence. Readers will discover an array of perennial early Christian wisdom into the practical challenges of ascent, “a work of God in Christ, transforming and incorporating us,” says Lewis Ayres. See how early Christians cultivated the life of grace with hospitality, silence, almsgiving, and other ascetic practices for human elevation into mystical union with God.

Contributors are: Benjamin D. Wayman, John S. Bergsma and Luke Iyengar, Hans Boersma, Stanley E. Porter, Gregory Vall Don W. Springer, Bogdan G. Bucur, Amy Brown Hughes, Sean Argondizza-Moberg, Stephen M. Hildebrand, Brian Matz, Anna Silvas, Ann Conway-Jones, Sandy L. Haney, Despina D. Prassas, Gerald Boersma, Brian E. Daley, Andrew Louth, Jonathan L. Zecher, Kevin M. Clarke, Lewis Ayres.
Volume Editors: and
For Jews and Christians in Antiquity beliefs about demons were integral to their reflections on fundamental theological questions, but what kind of ‘being’ did they consider demons to be? To what extent were they thought to be embodied? Were demons thought of as physical entities or merely as metaphors for social and psychological realities? What is the relation between demons and the hypostatization of abstract concepts (fear, impurity, etc) and baleful phenomenon such as disease? These are some of the questions that this volume addresses by focussing on the nature and characteristics of demons — what one might call ‘demonic ontology’.
Volume Editors: and
This volume celebrates the scholarship of Professor Johan C. Thom by tackling various important topics relevant for the study of the New Testament, such as the intellectual environment of early Christianity, especially Greek, Latin, and early Jewish texts, New Testament apocrypha and other early Christian writings, as well as Greek grammar. The authors offer fresh insights on philosophical texts and traditions, the cultural repertoire of early Christian literature, critical editions, linguistics and interpretation, and comparative analyses of ancient writings.
Before serving as Bishop of Constantinople and becoming known to posterity as "the Theologian", Gregory of Nazianzus was an Athens-trained professional teacher of Greek literature. Steeped in the rhetorical culture of the Second Sophistic, his orations for Christian feasts such as Christmas and Pentecost belong to a Classical tradition that privileged the performance of philosophy at festivals. Widely copied and translated, they were instrumental in Gregory becoming one of the most popular and influential authors in Byzantium. This book shows how his orations represent a crucial point in the Late Antique reception of Platonism, rhetorical theory, and ancient festival culture.