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Prayer in the Ancient World is the resource on prayer in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean. With over 350 entries it showcases 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 Prayer in the Ancient World will also be available online.
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.
Between Subversion and Innovation
It is generally agreed that there is significant irony in the Bible. However, to date no work has been published in biblical scholarship that on the one hand includes interpretations of both Hebrew Bible and New Testament writings under the perspective of irony, and on the other hand offers a panorama of the approaches to the different types and functions of irony in biblical texts.

The following volume: (1) reevaluates scholarly definitions of irony and the use of the term in biblical research; (2) builds on existing methods of interpretation of ironic texts; (3) offers judicious analyses of methodological approaches to irony in the Bible; and (4) develops fresh insights into biblical passages.
Papers from the Symposium at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, 18-19 October 2019
The Medinet Madi Library comes of age in this landmark volume as one of the 20th century’s major finds of religious manuscripts. Discovered in Egypt’s Fayum region in 1929, these Coptic codices contain a cross-section of the sacred literature of the Manichaean religion. Early work on the collection in the 1930s was cut short by the ravages of the second world war. Recent decades have brought multiple new editorial projects, on which this volume offers a comprehensive set of status reports, as well as individual studies on aspects of the Manichaean religion informed by the library’s contents.