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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.
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This study reframes and reorients the study of 2 Enoch, moving beyond debates about Christian or Jewish authorship and considering the work in the context of eclectic and erudite cultures in late antiquity, particularly Syria. The study compares the work with the Parables of Enoch and then with a variety of writings associated with late antique Syrian theology, demonstrating the distinctively eclectic character of 2 Enoch. It offers new paradigms for research into the pseudepigrapha.
This book presents new interpretations of essential and well-known passages from Augustine's Confessions. In ten chapters, Augustinian specialist Johannes van Oort analyzes and explains many essential passages in the work from the background of Augustine's thorough knowledge of Manichaeism. This 'Gnostic' variant of Christianity exerted a great influence on the North African Augustine, as evidenced in his most famous and (arguably) most influential work. In a new light appear such figures as Monnica, Ponticianus, Lady Continence, the rather obscure African bishop who speaks of Augustine as "a son of such tears"; events such as the 'illustrious' pear theft, the coming of "a glorious young man" to dreaming Monnica, Augustine's dramatic conversion; basic features such as his concept of 'God', deep sense of (sexual) sin, highly influential reflections on memory, fundamental view of Christ as God's Right Hand and, perhaps most importantly, his mystical spirituality.
Brill's Biblical Studies, Ancient Near East and Early Christianity E-Books Online, Collection 2024 is the electronic version of the book publication program of Brill in the field of Biblical Studies, Ancient Near East and Early Christianity in 2024.

Coverage:
Biblical Studies, Ancient Judaism, Ancient Near East, Egyptology, Dead Sea Scrolls, Gnosticism & Manichaeism, Early Church & Patristics

This E-Book Collection is part of Brill's Biblical Studies, Ancient Near East and Early Christianity E-Books Online Collection.

The title list and free MARC records are available for download here.

For other pricing options, consortium arrangements and free 30-day trials contact us at sales-us@brill.com (the Americas) or sales-nl@brill.com (Europe, Middle East, Africa & Asia-Pacific).
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This book seeks to add to common representations in the scholarship on almsgiving in late antiquity concerning the remission of post-baptismal sin, efforts to reform society, and competition between monks and bishops. It demonstrates that John Chrysostom conceptualized almsgiving as not only expiating the sins of the rich, relieving the suffering of the poor, or securing power for its promoters, but also expiating the sins of the poor, unifying the members of his congregation, and making humans like God. Although it could indeed save one from eternal death and physical hunger, it was salvific and transformative on other levels as well.
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This volumes examines the place of classical rhetoric in Augustine's theology. Rather than seeing rhetoric as a matter only of style, the authors examine the argumentative techniques that Augustine would have learned and taught as a professional rhetorician. Essays pay particular attention to the rhetorical practice of invention in order to uncover the ways in which Augustine's thought is not only expressed rhetorically but constructed rhetorically as well. If you want to know what kind of rhetoric Augustine used in the actual practice as a Christian writer and preacher, this volume will answer your question.
What holds a society together, what makes it dissolve, and how is a society in crisis restored? These are the questions explored in this study, which brings the Serek ha-Yahad (IQS) into dialogue with mimetic theory. It thus aims to shed light on the forms of life and thought in the yahad, as well as on their underlying reason and purpose.
From the analysis emerges an image of a community that not only has a strong awareness of the mechanisms of violence, but also of its cure. Its hierarchical organization and strict regulations are motivated by a perceived dissolution of contemporary society. By subordinating personal desire to community discipline and by establishing a system of differentiation, the yahad seeks to provide a model of how a society ought to be functioning.
Restauration, Sacrifice, et Naissance prophétique dans la Sīra d’Ibn Isḥāq
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This book aims to demonstrate that the accounts that feature Muhammad's grandfather in Ibn Ishaq's Sīra are the product of narrative engineering. Through a narrative sequence, in which Abd al-Muttalib is the hero, several intriguing episodes follow one another in a causal manner and lead to the birth of a future prophet. Articulated with a historical anthropology, the narrative analysis reveals that the Sīra is the heir to the royal literature of the Ancient Near East. Using motifs and themes from the culture of the Fertile Crescent, the Sīra makes 'Abd al-Muttalib a royal figure in the service of legitimising the Abbasid dynasty, heir par excellence to Ishmael and restorer of the Abrahamic covenant.

Cet ouvrage entend démontrer que les récits qui mettent en scène le grand-père de Muhammad dans la Sīra d'Ibn Ishaq sont le produit d'une ingénierie narrative. À travers une séquence narrative, dont Abd al-Muttalib est le héros, plusieurs épisodes intriguant s'enchainent d'une manière causale et aboutissent à la naissance d'un futur prophète. Articulée à une anthropologie historique, l'analyse narrative révèle que la Sīra est l'héritière de la littérature royale du Proche Orient Ancien. À partir de motifs et de thématiques issues de la culture du croissant fertile, la Sīra fait de 'Abd al-Muttalib une figure royale au service de la légitimation de la dynastie abbasside, héritier par excellence d'Ismaël et restaurateur de l'alliance abrahamique.