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Author: Bruce Lincoln
In Religion, Culture, and Politics in Pre-Islamic Iran, Bruce Lincoln offers a vast overview on different aspects of the Indo-Iranian, Zoroastrian and Pre-Islamic mythologies, religions and cultural issues. The book is organized in four sections according to the body of evidence they engage most directly: Avestan, Old Persian, Pahlavi, and Iranian materials in comparison with other data, including studies of myths, especially those with cosmogonic implications, ritual practices, cosmological constructions of space and time, points of intersection between religion, ethics, law, and politics, ideological aspects of scientific and medical theorizing, social organization and gender relations, and other diverse topics.
Author: Jonathan Yogev
In The Rephaim: Sons of the Gods, Jonathan Yogev provides a new theory regarding the mysterious characters, known as "Rephaim," in Biblical and ancient Near Eastern literature. The Rephaim are associated with concepts such as death and the afterlife, divinity, healing, giants and monarchy among others. They appear in Ugaritic, Phoenician and Biblical texts, yet it is difficult to pinpoint their exact function and meaning. This study offers a different perspective, along with full texts, detailed epigraphic analysis and commentary for all of the texts that mention the Rephaim, in order to determine their specific importance in societies of the ancient Levant.
In The “God of Israel” in History and Tradition, Michael Stahl provides a foundational study of the formulaic title “god of Israel” ( ’elohe yisra’el) in the Hebrew Bible. Employing critical theory on social power and identity, and through close literary and historical analysis, Dr. Stahl shows how the epithet “god of Israel” evolved to serve different social and political agendas throughout the course of ancient Israel and Judah’s histories. Reaching beyond the field of Biblical Studies, Dr. Stahl’s treatment of the historical and ideological significances of the title “god of Israel” in the Hebrew Bible offers a fruitful case study into the larger issue of the ways in which religion may shape—and be shaped by—social and political structures.
Middle Kingdom Palace Culture and Its Echoes in the Provinces addresses the significant gaps that remain in scholarly understanding about the origins and development of Egypt’s “Classical Age”. The essays in this volume are the end result of a conference held at the University of Jaén in Spain to study the history, archaeology, art, and language of the Middle Kingdom. Special attention is paid to provincial culture, perspectives, and historical realities. The distinguished group of Egyptologists from around the world gathered to consider the degree of influence that provincial developments played in reshaping the Egyptian state and its culture during the period. This volume aims to take a step towards a better understanding of the cultural renaissance, including the ideological transformations and social reorganization, that produced the Middle Kingdom.
Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium of Coptic Studies, Melbourne, 13-16 July 2018
Copts in Modernity presents a collection of essays – many of which contain unpublished archival material – showcasing historical and contemporary aspects pertaining to the Coptic Orthodox Church. The volume covers three main themes: The first theme, History, gathers studies that look back to the nineteenth and late eighteenth centuries to understand the realities of the twentieth and twenty-first; the second theme, Education, Leadership and Service, explores the role of religious education in the revival of the Church and how Coptic religious principles influenced the ideas of leadership and service that resulted in the Church’s spiritual revival; and the third theme, Identity and Material Culture, draws upon a broad range of material and visual culture to exemplify the role they play in creating and recreating identities. This volume brings together the work of senior and early career scholars from Australia, Europe, Egypt, and the United States.
Author: Bruce Henning
Scholars often explain Matthew’s practice of applying non-messianic texts to the messiah by postulating a Christological hermeneutic. In Matthew’s Non-Messianic Mapping of Messianic texts, Bruce Henning raises the question of how Matthew applies messianic texts to non-messianic figures. This neglected category challenges the popular view by stretching Matthew’s paradigm to a broadly eschatological one in which disciples share in the mission of Jesus so as to fulfill Scriptural hopes. Using Cognitive Linguistics, this volume explores four case studies to demonstrate Matthew’s non-messianic mapping scheme: the eschatological shepherd, the vineyard care-giver, temple construction imagery, and the Isaian herald. These reveal how Matthew’s theology of discipleship as participating in Jesus’ own vocation extends even to his hermeneutical paradigm of fulfillment.
A Microhistorical Study of the Neo-Assyrian Healer Kiṣir-Aššur
In Medicine in Ancient Assur Troels Pank Arbøll offers a microhistorical study of a single exorcist named Kiṣir-Aššur who practiced medical and magical healing in the ancient city of Assur (modern northern Iraq) in the 7th century BCE. The book provides the first detailed analysis of a healer’s education and practice in ancient Mesopotamia based on at least 73 texts assigned to specific stages of his career. By drawing on a microhistorical framework, the study aims at significantly improving our understanding of the functional aspects of texts in their specialist environment. Furthermore, the work situates Kiṣir-Aššur as one of the earliest healers in world history for whom we have such details pertaining to his career originating from his own time.
Neo-Assyrian and Greek Divination in War focuses on all divinatory practices which were used in the ancient Near East and Greece in time of war. Divination was a practical way of discovering the will of the gods, and enabled human contact with the divine. Divinatory practices were crucial to decision-taking. The results of divination were especially important during war. This book concentrates on the methods used to obtain all possible information from the divine world which could impact on the results of war. Knowledge of divine plans, verdicts and favors would ensure victory, power and eternal glory.
This book is also about the convergence of the ancient Near East and Greek divinatory systems, methods and practices. Step by step, it points out that the Greeks treated divination in a very similar way to the Mesopotamians, and presents the possible routes of transmission of this divine knowledge, which was practiced in both cultures by a group of well-trained professionals.
On the Contemplative Life is known for its depiction of a philosophical group of Jewish men and women known as the ‘Therapeutae’. Yet the reasons for their depiction have been little understood. In the first commentary on the treatise in English for over 100 years, the social, cultural and political background of the times in which Philo lived are shown to be crucial in understanding Philo’s purposes. As Alexandrian Jews were vilified and attacked, Philo went to Rome to present the case for his community, faced with intense opposition. Side-stepping direct confrontation, Philo here cleverly presents the Therapeutae as the pinnacle of excellence, most especially in their communal meal, while ridiculing his accusers in a stinging parody of a festive banquet.
Zand ī Fragard ī Jud-Dēw-Dād (A Commentary on the Chapters of the Widēwdād)
Author: Mahnaz Moazami
Laws of Ritual Purity: Zand ī Fragard ī Jud-Dēw-Dād (A Commentary on the Chapters of the Widēwdād) describes the various ways in which Zoroastrian authorities in the fifth-sixth centuries CE reinterpreted the purity laws of their community. Its redactor(s), conversant with the notions and practices of purity and impurity as developed by their predecessors, attempt(s) to determine the parameters of the various categories of pollution, the minimum measures of polluted substances, and the effect of the interaction of pollution with other substances that are important to humans. It is therefore in essence a technical legal corpus designed to provide a comprehensive picture of a central aspect of Zoroastrian ritual life: the extent of one’s liability contracting pollution and how atonement/purification can be achieved.