Browse results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 2,374 items for :

  • Biblical Studies x
  • Online Primary Source x
  • Theology and World Christianity x
  • Religious Studies x
  • Primary Language: English x
Clear All

Clarifying the Eclipse

Ascetics, Politics, and the Poetics of Power in Post-Roman Iberia

David Ungvary

Abstract

This essay examines a literary exchange between the Visigothic poet-king Sisebut (612-621 AD) and his scholar-bishop Isidore of Seville following an anomalous sequence of eclipses. After Sisebut commissioned a scientific treatise from Isidore on such natural phenomena, he responded to the bishop’s prose with a short poem on lunar eclipses (De eclipsi lunae). This study interprets the exchange of texts not as a literary game, but as high-stakes political correspondence. It situates the king’s verses in an ongoing process of cultural construction in Visigothic Spain, led prominently by Isidore himself, but also tied to a rising ascetic movement. It argues that Sisebut was attuned to Isidore’s designs to manage the discourses through which Christian power was proclaimed, and shows how the king attempted to versify in accord with scientific truth so as to fit within Isidore’s ascetic intellectual program.

Holger Szesnat

Abstract

This paper is a response to Alice Whealey’s proposal concerning the authorship of certain fragments traditionally assigned to Eusebius of Caesarea, arguing that they are more likely the work of his pupil, Eusebius of Emesa. The paper considers the manuscript evidence, specifically the lemmata in Vat.gr. 1611, in relation to the internal evidence considered by Whealey.

Devin L. White

Abstract

In On Prayer 1-4, Evagrius of Pontus reads the incense described in Exodus 30:34-37 as an allegorical type of the four cardinal virtues. This essay explains the logic of Evagrius’s interpretation, situating his argument in a longstanding philosophical debate about the interrelationship of the virtues. By reading the incense as virtue, Evagrius joins both Gregory of Nazianzus and Gregory of Nyssa in interpreting Exodus as a source for virtue theory, as well as several ancient philosophers who explained the virtues and their interrelation by comparing them to physical substances combined in a mixture. Central to Evagrius’s argument is the compound ancient philosophers called a “juxtaposition” (σύνθεσις), the use of which term shows Evagrius’s knowledge of a well-attested hexaplaric variant in Exod 30:35. In sum, authorized by his text of Exodus, Evagrius suggests the virtues relate to each other in the same fashion that the ingredients of a σύνθεσις relate to each other.

Johannes van Oort

Ian N. Mills

Abstract

Most scholars agree that “pagans” did not read Christian scripture. This critical consensus, however, places inordinate weight on a decontextualized quotation from Tertullian and neglects a body of evidence to the contrary. In particular, the role of books in early autobiographical conversion narratives suggests that early Christian authors and copyists could sometimes work with a reasonable expectation of pagan readership. Against traditional notions of the restricted appeal and circulation of Christian literature, pagan and Christian sources alike indicate that Christian writings found an audience among philo-barbarian thinkers and that certain Christians promoted their books in pagan circles.

Willem J. C. Blom

Abstract

The reference to Christ in Tacitus’ Annales is one of the earliest references to Jesus by a non-Christian author. Although this so-called “Testimonium Taciteum” is generally accepted as authentic, arguments against the authenticity of the passage given by Richard Carrier have not yet received a thorough response. In this article, I will argue that the arguments against authenticity of the Testimonium Taciteum do not rest on solid ground, nor does the alternative interpretation of the passage by Carrier. On the other hand, it is probable that Tacitus referred in his passage to the persecution of Christians, although that persecution may have been less connected with the fire of Rome than is commonly suggested. There are also four arguments that favour the authenticity of the Testimonium.

Jerry M. Ireland

Most contemporary Pentecostal missiologies advocate a move away from classical Pentecostalism’s historic emphasis on the priority of evangelization (commonly described as the narrow sense of missions). In many ways this move parallels similar missiological perspectives among Evangelicals through the influence of the Lausanne Congresses between 1974 and 2010. In this essay the author argues that Scripture does not emphasize the church’s call to transform the world but the church’s need to be transformed itself within the world as a testimony of God’s abiding presence. Building especially on the work of Paul Pomerville, Johannes Blauw, and Harry Boer, the author offers a fresh take on an old missiology, one in which the church in the age of the Spirit must especially be understood in light of God’s concern for the nations.

Cleansing Instead of Combat?

E. Janet Warren’s Temple-Cosmos Model of Counteracting Evil, and its Implications for Charismatic Missiology

Christian J. Anderson

As the Church participates in God’s Mission, how is it called to oppose evil forces in the world? In the last fifty years, spiritual warfare approaches have come to the attention of evangelicals through missionary encounters with spirit cosmologies of the global South and the rise of Pentecostalism within World Christianity. But Janet Warren’s book, Cleansing the Cosmos (Wipf and Stock, 2012), offers a theological and practical alternative to spiritual warfare, one that emphasizes God’s cleansing of space in his creation, with evil not so much a strategic enemy but chaos that seeks to intrude over God-given boundaries and contaminate what God has made holy. This article analyzes Warren’s proposal and explores how it may help in some areas of mission where spiritual warfare approaches have been problematic – namely in relation to exaggerated God–Satan dualism, discontinuity of local religious forms, and controversies over space.