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Edited by Siam Bhayro and Catherine Rider

In many near eastern traditions, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam, demons have appeared as a cause of illness from ancient times until at least the early modern period. This volume explores the relationship between demons, illness and treatment comparatively. Its twenty chapters range from Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt to early modern Europe, and include studies of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. They discuss the relationship between ‘demonic’ illnesses and wider ideas about illness, medicine, magic, and the supernatural. A further theme of the volume is the value of treating a wide variety of periods and places, using a comparative approach, and this is highlighted particularly in the volume’s Introduction and Afterword. The chapters originated in an international conference held in 2013.

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J. Cornelis de Vos

J. Cornelis de Vos examines the impact and reception of the Decalogue up to 200 CE, scrutinizing the versions of the Decalogue, and the history of the Decalogue in ancient Jewish writings, the New Testament, and early Christian writings. Almost all texts show an interconnection of identity and normativity: the Decalogue functions as an expression of fundamental moral concepts of socio-religious groups. At the same time, these groups enhance the Decalogue with normativity—sometimes even expanding on it—to make it a text that generates their own identity.
This is the first study that presents an in-depth and continuous analysis of the early history of the Decalogue.

Der Wirkung und Rezeption des Dekalogs bis 200 n.Chr. widmet sich J. Cornelis de Vos in dieser Studie. Dafür erforscht er zunächst die alten Textzeugen der beiden Dekalogfassungen, um anschließend zu fragen, wie die Zehn Gebote bei antik-jüdischen Autoren, im Neuen Testament sowie in frühchristlichen Schriften aufgenommen wurden. Es zeigt sich eine Verbindung von Normativität und Identität: Der Dekalog gilt zumeist als Ausdruck der moralischen Grundauffassungen sozioreligiöser Gruppen; er wird gleichzeitig von diesen Gruppen mit Normativität aufgeladen – manchmal sogar erweitert – gerade um als Identität stiftend für die eigene Gruppe zu gelten.
Dies ist die erste Studie, die eine detaillierte und durchgehende Geschichte des Dekalogs in der Antike beschreibt.

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Edited by Yair Furstenberg

Jews and Christians under the Roman Empire shared a unique sense of community. Set apart from their civic and cultic surroundings, both groups resisted complete assimilation into the dominant political and social structures. However, Jewish communities differed from their Christian counterparts in their overall patterns of response to the surrounding challenges. They exhibit diverse levels of integration into the civic fabric of the cities of the Empire and display contrary attitudes towards the creation of trans-local communal networks. The variety of local case studies examined in this volume offers an integrated image of the multiple factors, both internal and external, which determined the role of communal identity in creating a sense of belonging among Jews and Christians under Imperial constraints.

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Edited by Gabriella Gelardini and Harold Attridge

Scholars of Hebrews have repeatedly echoed the almost proverbial saying that the book appears to its reader as a "Melchizedekian being without genealogy". For such scholars the aphorism identified prominent traits of Hebrews, its enigma, its otherness, its marginality. Although Franz Overbeck might unintentionally have stimulated such correlations, they do not represent what his dictum originally meant. Writing during the high noon of historicism in 1880, Overbeck lamented a lack of historical context, one that he had deduced on the basis of flawed presuppositions of the ideological frameworks prevalent of his time. His assertion made an impact, and consequently Hebrews was not only "othered" within New Testament scholarship, its context was neglected and by some, even judged as irrelevant altogether. Understandably, the neglect created a deficit keenly felt by more recent scholarship, which has developed a particular interest in Hebrews’ contexts. Hebrews in Contexts, edited by Gabriella Gelardini and Harold W. Attridge, is an expression of this interest. It gathers authors who explore extensively on Hebrews’ relations to other early traditions and texts (Jewish, Hellenistic, and Roman) in order to map Hebrews’ historical, cultural, and religious identity in greater, and perhaps surprising detail.

The Saint's Saints

Hagiography and Geography in Jerome

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Susan Weingarten

The Saint's Saints presents Jerome’s world picture as seen through his saints’ Lives. It analyses both his rhetoric and his descriptions of realia, and the way he combines classical, Christian and Jewish sources to re-write the biblical Holy Land as a new and Christian world for his readers.
Susan Weingarten looks at how Jerome dovetails his literary sources with his experience of the material world of the fourth century to write the Lives of the saints Paul, Hilarion, Malchus and Paula, effectively using them to write the Life of Saint Jerome.
This is the first full-length study of Jerome’s saints’ Lives. It widens the on-going debate about mutual influences in Jewish and Christian literature in the fourth century, and revises our picture of the historical geography of Palestine.

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Edited by Marcel Poorthuis and Joshua J. Schwartz

This volume deals with the role of saints and exemplary individuals in Judaism and Christianity. Although sharing the Hebrew Bible and recognizing the same Biblical figures there, both religions have developed widely divergent perspectives upon the significance of these figures, although there are occasional common motifs and themes.
Moreover, even the contrasting themes betray an underlying interaction between both religions as is clear from the contributions on, for example, Melchizedek, Elijah, the Desert Fathers, Rabbis on clothing, the Apostle Peter in Jewish tradition, the Maccabees in Christian tradition and the Biblical examples in Saint Antony the Hermit.
The book examines Jewish and Christian perspectives upon saints and role models from the Biblical period to the present time. It will be of special importance to scholars and general readers interested in an interdisciplinary approach to theology, rabbinics, history, art history and much more.

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Rokeah

Justin Martyr, a second-century Gentile Christian apologist, was active in the Christian-Jewish propaganda war to convert each other and the pagans. He radicalized the ideas of St. Paul on the divine Election, Abraham, the Pentateuch, and the Gentiles.
Justin's background, sources, and thought, and his place in the inter-religious propaganda war, are discussed, as are the irreconcilable views of Jesus and Paul on the Pentateuch and the Gentiles.
Justin Martyr and the Jews considers the place of Paul and Justin's teachings in today's Christian-Jewish dialogue about the roots of early Christian Antisemitism, showing that the presuppositions of Paul and Justin must be abandoned if Christians and Jews today are to reach true understanding.
As part of the search for such understanding, recent scholarly literature has been concerned with pre- and post-Holocaust inter-religious relations, as well as with the roots of Christian Antisemitism. Some scholars have endeavoured to show that Pauline teachings were misunderstood, and thereby exonerate Paul from the responsibility for Christian persecutions of Jews through the ages. These scholars have also attempted to make Paul a bridge between Christians and Jews in their modern dialogue. The present writer argues that this interpretation of Pauline teaching, followed and even radicalized by Justin, is unfounded.