Religion in Ephesos Reconsidered provides a detailed overview of the current state of research on the most important Ephesian projects offering evidence for religious activity during the Roman period. Ranging from huge temple complexes to hand-held figurines, this book surveys a broad scope of materials. Careful reading of texts and inscriptions is combined with cutting-edge archaeological and architectural analysis to illustrate how the ancient people of Ephesos worshipped both the traditional deities and the new gods that came into their purview. Overall, the volume questions traditional understandings of material culture in Ephesos, and demonstrates that the views of the city and its inhabitants on religion were more complex and diverse than has been previously assumed.
Sōtēria: Salvation in Early Christianity and Antiquity, an international team of scholars assembles to honour the distinguished academic career of New Testament scholar Cilliers Breytenbach. Colleagues and friends consider in which manner concepts of salvation were constructed in early Christianity and its Jewish and Graeco-Roman contexts. Studies on aspects of soteriology in the New Testament writings, such as in the narratives on Jesus’ life and work, and theological interpretations of his life and death in the epistolary literature, are supplemented by studies on salvation in the Apostolic Fathers, Marcion, early Christian inscriptions and Antiochian theology. The volume starts with some exemplary studies on salvation in the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea scrolls, the Septuagint, and popular Graeco-Roman literature and philosophy. Furthermore, some contributions shed light on the ancient cultural background of early Christian soteriological concepts.
of Hermas and the Pauline Legacy, Jonathan E. Soyars traces the influence of Pauline literary traditions upon one of the most widely attested and influential apocalyptic texts from early Christianity. Scholarship largely considers Hermas to have known very little about Pauline letters, but by looking beyond verbatim quotations Soyars discovers extensive evidence of his adoption, adaptation, and synthesis of identifiable Pauline material in the
Visions, Mandates, and
Similitudes sections. Hermas emerges as a Pauline interpreter who creatively engages topics and themes developed within and across the Pauline letters through time. These results reconnect the
Shepherd with early Paulinism and extend reconstructions of the sphere of Pauline influence in the second century C.E.
In the midst of academic debates about the utility of the term “magic” and the cultural meaning of ancient words like
Guide to the Study of Ancient Magic seeks to advance the discussion by separating out three topics essential to the very idea of magic. The three major sections of this volume address (1) indigenous terminologies for ambiguous or illicit ritual in antiquity; (2) the ancient texts, manuals, and artifacts commonly designated “magical” or used to represent ancient magic; and (3) a series of contexts, from the written word to materiality itself, to which the term “magic” might usefully pertain.
The individual essays in this volume cover most of Mediterranean and Near Eastern antiquity, with essays by both established and emergent scholars of ancient religions.
In a burgeoning field of “magic studies” trying both to preserve and to justify critically the category itself, this volume brings new clarity and provocative insights. This will be an indispensable resource to all interested in magic in the Bible and the Ancient Near East, ancient Greece and Rome, Early Christianity and Judaism, Egypt through the Christian period, and also comparative and critical theory.
Sortilege—the making of decisions by casting lots—was widely practiced in the Mediterranean world during the period known as late antiquity, between the third and eighth centuries CE. In
My Lots are in Thy Hands: Sortilege and its Practitioners in Late Antiquity, AnneMarie Luijendijk and William Klingshirn have collected fourteen essays that examine late antique lot divination, especially but not exclusively through texts preserved in Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Syriac. Employing the overlapping perspectives of religious studies, classics, anthropology, economics, and history, contributors study a variety of topics, including the hermeneutics and operations of divinatory texts, the importance of diviners and their instruments, and the place of faith and doubt in the search for hidden order in a seemingly random world.
This study offers the first sustained examination of the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (CBGM), a computerized method being used to edit the most widely-used editions of the Greek New Testament. Part one addresses the CBGM’s history and reception before providing a fresh statement of its principles and procedures. Parts two and three consider the method’s ability to recover the initial text and to delineate its history. A new portion of the global stemma is presented for the first time and important conclusions are drawn about the nature of the initial text, scribal habits, and the origins of the Byzantine text. A final chapter suggests improvements and highlights limitations. Overall, the CBGM is positively assessed but not without important criticisms and cautions.
In this volume, Paul Robertson re-describes the form of the apostle Paul’s letters in a manner that facilitates transparent, empirical comparison with texts not typically treated by biblical scholars. Paul’s letters are best described by a set of literary characteristics shared by certain Greco-Roman texts, particularly those of Epictetus and Philodemus.
Paul Robertson theorizes a new taxonomy of Greco-Roman literature that groups Paul’s letters together with certain Greco-Roman, ethical-philosophical texts written at a roughly contemporary time in the ancient Mediterranean. This particular grouping, termed a socio-literary sphere, is defined by the shared form, content, and social purpose of its constituent texts, as well as certain general similarities between their texts’ authors.
What does it mean to study Paul the Apostle as Jew, Greek, and Roman? The framing of the question exposes the fact that the distinctions themselves involve a complex of ethnic, social, and cultural designations. Paul is both a complicated individual of the ancient world, because he combines in his one personage features of life in each of these cultural-ethnic (and even religious) areas of the ancient world, and one of many people of that world who evidenced such complexity. This volume, Paul: Jew, Greek, and Roman, explores a number of the important and diverse cultural, ethnic, and religious dimensions of the multi-faceted background of Paul the Apostle. Some of the treatments are focused and specific, while others range over the broad issues that go to making up the world of the Apostle.
Astutely reading the writings of early Christianity as part of the lively conversation of the Graeco-Roman world, Robert M. Grant helped reshape the study of the New Testament and early Christianity for scholars in the United States and Europe.
Reading Religions in the Ancient World honors his work with sixteen essays by his colleagues and students, arranged under the headings of Classical Studies, New Testament Studies and Patristic Studies. These essays reflect and extend the research interests of the honoree; signal the breadth and depth of Professor Grant’s own scholarly interests and productivity; and contribute to each of these important aspects of religion in the ancient world.
This collection of essays focuses on issues related to gender at the intersection of religious discourses in antiquity. To that end, an array of traditions is analyzed with the aim of more fully situating the construction and representation of gender in early Christian, Jewish and Greco-Roman argumentation.
Taken as a whole, these essays contribute to the goal of displaying the wide range of options that are available for examining the interconnection of gender, rhetoric, power, and ideology, especially as they relate to identity formation in the ancient world during the early centuries of the common era.
The focus on ancient conceptions of gender makes this collection particularly useful not only for biblical scholars, but also for classicists and researchers working in the field of gender studies, as well as for those interested in exploring similar issues in other religious traditions or in Western religious traditions of different time periods.